IBM Unveils Watson-Powered Imaging Solutions at RSNA | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

IBM Unveils Watson-Powered Imaging Solutions at RSNA

December 1, 2016
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

Merge Healthcare and Watson Health, both IBM companies, unveiled at the Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting (RSNA 2016) new imaging solutions utilizing machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

The solutions are designed to help healthcare providers pursue personalized approaches to patient diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring.

IBM researchers estimate that medical images, as the largest and fastest-growing data source in the healthcare industry, account for at least 90 percent of all medical data,

Tools to help clinicians extract insights from medical images remain limited, requiring most analysis to be done manually. This has created an opportunity to analyze and cross-reference medical images against a deep trove of lab results, electronic health records, genomic tests, clinical studies and other health-related data sources to enable providers to compare new medical images with a patient’s image history as well as populations of similar patients to detect changes and anomalies.

According to a press release, Watson Health showcased a number of new advancements during RSNA, including a cognitive peer review tool intended to help healthcare professionals reconcile differences between a patient’s clinical evidence, and data in that patient’s electronic health record (EHR) and a cognitive data summarization tool intended to provide radiologists, cardiologists, and other physicians with patient-specific clinical information to use when interpreting imaging studies, or when diagnosing and treating patients.

Additionally, Watson Health demonstrated the MedyMatch “Brain Bleed” App, a cognitive image review tool intended to help emergency room physicians diagnose a stroke or brain bleed in a trauma patient by identifying relevant evidence in a patient record.      

During RSNA, Merge also showcased new technologies, such as Marktation, a new process for interpreting medical images intended to help physicians improve image reading speed and accuracy, with an initial application in mammography and the Watson Clinical Integration Module, a cloud application for radiologists that aims to help increase reader efficiency and counteract common causes of errors in medical imaging, such as base rate neglect, anchoring, bias, framing bias, and premature closure.

“Watson cognitive computing is ideally suited to support radiologists on their journey ‘Beyond Imaging’ to practices that address the needs of patient populations, deliver improved patient outcomes, and demonstrate real-world value,” Nancy Koenig, general manager of Merge Healthcare, said in a statement.


Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



NIH to Fund Genome Centers for All of Us Program

In May 2018 the National Institutes of Health will solicit applications for large-scale Genome Centers to generate genomic data as part of the All of Us Research Program.

New York State’s PDMP Now Interoperable with 25 States and D.C.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week new efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, including advancing partnerships in New York’s prescription monitoring program (PMP) across the country.

Report: Midwest Healthcare Companies Attracted $2.5B in Investments in 2017

Midwest healthcare companies attracted $2.5 billion in new equity investments in 2017, a 38 percent increase over 2016, according to the BioEnterprise Midwest Healthcare Growth Capital Report.

Research: Precision Medicine May Improve Survival in Late-Stage Cancer, Lower Costs

A precision medicine study conducted by researchers from Intermountain Precision Genomics and Stanford University School of Medicine indicates that precision oncology may improve overall survival and lower healthcare costs for advanced cancer patients.

Study: Researchers Use EHR Data to Predict Future Chronic Opioid Use

Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus are working to develop statistical models to better predict which patients will be prescribed opioid medications long-term following discharge from a hospital stay.

ONC Avoids 2018 Budget Cuts in New Spending Bill

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) funding for 2018 will hold steady through September, at $60 million, as part of a House spending bill that was passed on Thursday.