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IBM Unveils Watson-Powered Imaging Solutions at RSNA

December 1, 2016
by Heather Landi
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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.

 

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