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Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, IBM Collaborate on Watson Usage

March 22, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The New York City-based Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and IBM (New York City) are collaborating on the use of IBM’s Watson technology to help create a decision support tool will help doctors everywhere create individualized cancer diagnostic and treatment recommendations for their patients based on current evidence.

Watson gained notoriety when the artificial intelligence computer system beat the best Jeopardy! contestants in the world during a special two-episode version of the quiz show. The system can interpret natural language and uses statistical analysis, advanced analytics and an array of processors to search millions of pages in seconds and deliver evidence-based statistically-ranked responses.

For this collaboration, the computational power of IBM Watson and its natural language processing ability will team with MSKCC’s clinical knowledge, existing molecular and genomic data and repository of cancer case histories. The goal is to create an outcome and evidence-based decision support system. The system, would ideally in MSKCC’s eyes, give oncologists located anywhere the ability to obtain detailed diagnostic and treatment options based on updated research on how best to care for an individual patient.

According to MSKCC, their oncologists will assist in developing IBM Watson to use a patient’s medical information and synthesize a vast array of continuously updated and vetted treatment guidelines, published research and insights gleaned from the deep experience of MSKCC clinicians to provide an individualized recommendation to physicians.

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