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IBM’s Watson, Mayo Team Up on Initiative

September 8, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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Watson’s next stop is the Mayo Clinic, as the famous IBM creation will be assisting in a new initiative that aims to match patients more quickly with the appropriate clinical trials.

The pilot is set to launch in early 2015.

Since appearing on Jeopardy! a few years ago, IBM has brought the artificial intelligence computer system to several big-named provider organizations for various collaborations including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), Cleveland Clinic, and MD Anderson. Mayo is the latest stop for Watson, where researchers will aim to use its cognitive computing ability to wade through   Mayo clinical trials to place patients in the right study.

“In an area like cancer —where time is of the essence — the speed and accuracy that Watson offers will allow us to develop an individualized treatment plan more efficiently so we can deliver exactly the care that the patient needs,” Steven Alberts, M.D. chair of medical oncology at Mayo Clinic said in a statement.

Mayo Clinic says that it has more than 8,000 human studies at any given time in addition to the 170,000 that are ongoing worldwide. Patients are matched with these trials manually through patient records and conditions. Watson will be able to increase accuracy and speed up the entire process, researchers say.

This specific version of Watson is being developed to analyze patient records and clinical trial criteria in order to determine appropriate matches for patients. Mayo and IBM are looking for other potential collaborations between the healthcare organization and Watson.

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