Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Watson as an innovative approach to business intelligence #HIMSS12

The session on Watson was completely full as health IT professionals crowded to learn about the IBM Watson technology in the evolution of health care data analytics. 

In the session Watson: The Innovative Approach to Business Intelligence, attendees will hear how "Watson" processes natural language and complex meanings to support clinical decision support.

Watson is a computing platform that understands natural language,  not just words.  Watson can process a tremendous amount of data to outline a differential diagnosis and also calculate the probability around each dx. Plus,  it determines clinical decisions based on individual patient factors. 

Earlier this month we saw the following appear in Forbes: IBM's Watson, Cedars-Sinai and WellPoint Take On Cancer

Watson was originally designed to play a game show in TV, but now its use is being actively applied in health care.  Because it is a platform that learns and understands,  Watson will improve over time. 

Watson looks at data,  evaluates the evidence source,  determines a list of answers,  then continues to evaluate the evidence.  It quantifies degrees of confidence in potential answers.  In health care,  Watson will generate a list of suggestions to help physicians make better evidence-based clinical decisions.

Evidence must be evaluated for different forms:
Temporal reasoning
Geospatial reasoning
Statistical paraphrasing

In the clinical decision making process,  we go through the process of data gathering to decision.  We work within the realms of knowledge,  context,  and experience.  Watson does not have bias,  so there is no risk of cognitive error based on presumptive thoughts. 

Watson also prioritizes information and makes suggestions that are all linked with references and sources of information. Health care is inherently uncertain. It identifies missing information. It provides evidence-based information to assist the clinician making decisions. Watson does not make clinical decisions,  but if offers suggestions that can significantly improve patient care.

I think the future of medicine will dramatically evolve as physicians gain access to clinical decision support tools that are powered by super computer artificial intelligence  platforms like Watson.

Watson: The Innovative Approach to Business Intelligence

Dr.  Martin Kohn (also an MIT alum!)

HIMSS12 coverage is sponsored by HP. HP’s extensive portfolio of products, solutions, services and relationships can help your healthcare organization achieve quality business practices and provide quality patient care.

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