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IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence Improves Cancer Treatment

Jupiter Medical Center implements IBM Watson for Oncology to help physicians care for patients with evidence-based treatment.

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- IBM announced that Jupiter Medical Center will adopt IBM Watson for Oncology. The non-profit 327 bed regional medical center will implement artificial intelligence with IBM Watson trained by Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York in its health IT infrastructure.

The solution is expected to go live at the beginning of March and will be the first implementation of Watson for Oncology in a U.S. community hospital.

Watson for Oncology is a cognitive computing platform that provides physicians with insights to deliver personal and evidence-based cancer treatment.

Jupiter Medical Center is seeking a system to add to its health IT infrastructure to enable data-driven, evidence-based care contingent on the amount of data collected by modern health systems.

"At Jupiter Medical Center, we are committed to pioneering new approaches to medicine and health care," said Jupiter Medical Center President and CEO John D. Couris. "Watson for Oncology is part of our significant investment in creating a world-class cancer program and we are proud to be the first U.S. community hospital to arm our clinical team with this cutting-edge technology."

Watson for Oncology uses cognitive computing to gather and provide information for oncologists to deliver evidence-based treatment options. The solution analyzes the large volume and medical literature of data oncologists are not able to sort through on their own.

Watson for Oncology draws from over 300 medical journals and 200 textbooks to advise oncologists quickly with information they would be unable to access in real-time. Watson’s machine learning capability ranks evidence-based treatment options proceeding from the oncologist’s decisions, gaining knowledge over time to better assist with future diagnoses.

"In communities across the country and around the world, there is a growing need for tools that help increase efficiency and enable quick access to important information from the collective body of cancer knowledge available today," said Rob Merkel, Vice President of Oncology and Genomics, IBM Watson Health. "In adopting Watson for Oncology, Jupiter Medical Center joins world-class facilities that are offering the power of Watson to their physicians as the need for cognitive computing in cancer care becomes increasingly clear."

IBM and Memorial Sloan Kettering have been developing Watson for Oncology to develop treatment plans for breast, lung, colorectal, cervical, ovarian, and gastric cancers, and plan to train Watson on nine additional cancer types this year.

Jupiter Medical Center selected Watson for Oncology because it was impressed with the solution’s analytical capabilities. It also appreciated the suggestion of relevant treatment options while still allowing physicians to personalize their patients’ care.

Jupiter Medical Center Chief of Oncology Abraham Schwarzberg said that Watson’s power will help the oncology team identify individual treatments.

“As one of the first in the country to implement this tool, Jupiter Medical Center continues to be a regional leader in integrating technology to provide cutting-edge clinical care," Schwarzberg explained.

IBM Watson has been making its rounds through the healthcare industry as more organizations seek its artificial intelligence to improve different parts of their health IT infrastructure.

Earlier this month, the FDA announced a collaborative partnership with IBM Watson to use oncology data to evaluate the use of blockchain in healthcare.

The FDA sees value in the data IBM Watson is gathering and applying it to further blockchain research for the healthcare industry.

Healthcare blockchain aims to take analyzed data one step beyond assisting physicians, giving patients access to an owner-mediated data sharing ecosystem. This ecosystem may bring in new discoveries related to population health, which can be absorbed into Watson and add to the data repository.

IBM Watson has also expanded its healthcare services to assist organizations with the Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity, and data management using artificial intelligence. 


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