IBM looks to make 'Jeopardy!' computer a doctor's helper

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 14, 2011 - 2:19 PM

Watson, the "Jeopardy!" computer, might become your doctor's new assistant. But will doctors feel they're being graded?

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jrswanAug. 14, 1110:10 PM

Watson's "bedside" manor may prove to be the deciding factor. If patients begin to appreciate a kind and gentle Watson, the family physician may well be in trouble. Watson paired with an RN may be quite a team.

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bootsy07Aug. 14, 1110:46 PM

So I guess we'll get online access to one of these beasts from some off-shore installation. After getting diagnosed we'll order our drugs from the off-shore pharmacy and we'll never need to go to the doctor. Unless we break an arm or get sick from bad medicine.

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TranyAug. 15, 11 8:03 AM

“…enable medical providers and insurance companies to agree on which treatments should be covered in different situations,” This is a little alarming, follow the money, will the medical community be the benefactor or will the insurance company? The input would be subjective, and therefore not 100% accurate, if someone uses in correct data, in the form of present symptoms or lack of family history your results would be different. So you get the nice letter from the insurance company refusing your claim or treatment, for what a computer said. I do think this could be a powerful tool in the treatment and diagnosis of rare or unidentified issues. It could read millions of medical records, or journals for treatment and such, but it would be just a tool and not the decisive answer. But once you restrict or limit treatments based on a algorithm that isn’t perfect then you open a whole new can of worms.

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fuhrmannAug. 15, 11 9:24 AM

Aparently a lot of ignorance of what Watson is and it's ability. A lot more like "House" than "Marcus Welby". It can synthysize a lot of data and find things that a typical doctor won't think about but makes wild mistakes that a real doctor needs to filter before giving to a patient. ........................................................................................................................................................................ I don't know if they are out there for people to view but the PBS Nova show about the making of Watson and (even better) the three Jeopardy shows where he kicked butt on the humans along with making huge goofs would be a great education for people interested in the topic.

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evenmorejustAug. 15, 1110:15 AM

Did IBM outsource this to India yet like they did 70% of their former employees???

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brumski1Aug. 15, 1110:29 AM

Would you trust WebMD to accurately diagnose and treat you 100% of the time???? WebMD, a hypochondriac's dream!!! Watson, a patient's nightmare!

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jrswanAug. 15, 1112:04 PM

Who wants to protect our current health care system other than those with good access at a reasonable cost and those making a financial killing from it? We all know the U.S. has lower longevity, higher infant mortality, 45 million uninsured and we pay twice as much as the rest of the developed world. We are ripe for change and maybe Watson is it.

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swschradAug. 15, 1112:22 PM

bleep bloop whirrrr "Uh, for $85,000, Alex, the question is, "Who's having thoracic surgery this afternoon?" beep.

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highlandguyAug. 15, 11 1:55 PM

how is searching millions of pages of medical journals any different than Google?

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raholcoAug. 15, 1110:05 PM

I can see Watson as a useful adjunct where the latest research and historical data/trends can be easily accessed. In the end, its up to the Doctor to make the diagnosis. The real problem, of course, is that even if the doctor makes the correct diagnosis--if the treatment plan isn't adhered to, all of the technology in the world won't fix that.

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