IBM, Doctors Partner to Modernize Cancer Research and Diagnosis

IBMlogo3 EbizIBM has teamed up with doctors to develop a machine that can someday improve cancer prevention and treatment using the latest research on the disease, the Scarborough Leader reported Friday.

Michael Kelley writes the project will include teaching Watson to aid oncologists at the Maine Center for Cancer Medicine.

According to the article, Watson is being fed historical clinical data, medical textbooks, journals and trials, information that it would be able to recall, synthesize and analyze “in seconds” to come up with suggestions to aid in diagnosis for every unique case.

“The idea with Watson is to give it the capability to take all the world’s cancer literature and apply that to a particular cancer situation,” said Steve D’Amato, executive director and clinical pharmacy specialist at Maine Center for Cancer Medicine.

“We are in the process of educating Watson and analyzing what comes back to see how accurate Watson’s determinations are,” D’Amato added, noting that a commercially available prototype is still a few years away.

Other participants in the Watson project are healthcare firm WellPoint and New York-based cancer center Memorial Sloan Kettering.

“They have come a long ways pretty quickly in the development, but there is still some ways to go,” said Jim Reddy, information technology director at Maine Center for Cancer Medicine.

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