Super Intelligence & Medicine

Artificial Inteligence, Machine Learning, Super Intelligence all seem to be pointed at Medicine. Who should be worried the Patient, or the Doctor?

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Watson was center stage Tuesday at the 2014 Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit, but the IBM supercomputer was nowhere to be seen.

While Clinic physicians demonstrated the potential for how Watson could one day boost the efficiency of electronic medical records and provide medical students with a deeper education, the star attraction was “in the cloud,” as it were. No hardware to be found.

That didn’t detract from the show-and-tell of the possibilities that cognitive computing could hold for the future.

Once the initial excitement of Watson’s initial unveiling, in early 2011 on the Jeopardy! Challenge television show, had subsided, a team of IBM researchers set out to plot the computer’s next steps. They wanted to see how Watson and its talents – including the ability to understand and process natural language, and analyze millions of pages of information – could be used in the medical field, said Eric Brown, IBM Research Director of Watson Technologies.

The following year, a collaboration was forged between IBM and the Clinic. The work focused on two prototypes: an electronic medical record from which doctors could access information much more quickly; and a tool that medical students could use to help them solve complex scenarios.

In two separate role-playing scenarios, Watson showed its agility by analyzing all of the clinical notes in the electronic medical record to create a list of health issues, prescribed medications, lab test results, previous doctor’s appointments and other information – and with just a few clicks on each field, even more data that proved useful in helping physicians come up with a potential diagnosis.

Providing that kind of information quickly is key, especially since it’s estimated that the amount of data generated per patient per year is the equivalent of 1,000 single spaced pages, said Dr. Neil Mehta, Director of Education Technology in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University who helped demonstrate the technology.

“As we increase the amount of data that is in there, the cognitive workload of the clinician is huge,” he said. “We expect electronic medical records to help us provide value-based care, but if we can decrease the amount of time they have to spend [searching for] information, and the information is accurate, it’s going to help our patients.”

In another role-playing scenario, a medical student from the Lerner College of Medicine worked with WatsonPaths, which applies technology to problem-based learning.

As the student reviewed the patient’s information, Watson was in the background doing something similar. So when the student comes up with some ideas of what might be wrong with the patient, Watson – itself a third-year medical student – offers up its suggestions and shows the reasons why – all based on millions of pages of medical text that it has reviewed in a matter of seconds.

“People have expressed concern that Watson would take over [problem-based learning,” said Julie Tebo of the Clinic’s Education Institute, which oversees training and education. “We envision Watson as another student [with] interplay between the two. The student is learning from Watson, and Watson is supplementing the student.”

Tuesday’s visit was the second appearance by Watson at the Clinic’s annual Medical Innovation Summit. In 2011 Watson beat two teams of Cleveland Clinic cardiologists during a “Jeopardy”-like challenge.

Much has happened with Watson since then, including a pilot program launched by health care plan provider WellPoint Inc. to help health plans make decisions about treatment requests more quickly and efficiently; and developing Watson as a cancer treatment adviser at a handful of cancer centers.
“One of the challenges all medical schools and educators are faced with is, what do we do to prepare students for the way medicine is going to be practiced in the future?” Mehta said. “None of us, unfortunately, has a crystal ball. So we know big data is going to be a big part of this … so smart computing in some way is going to be part of the future.”

The original article can be found here.

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John Macey

I was born, and principally educated, in the fields of biochemistry, and business management in the northeastern USA. However, my world-wide professional career has greatly expanded upon that US base to involve the many different segments of the Biotech / Life Science fields globally. – I have been dressed as a surgeon to view many, many surgical proceedures - The major players in the health care fields that I have worked for include: Johnson & Johnson, DuPont, Abbott Laboratories, and F. Hoffmann-La Roche. – Positions have included selling nuclear materials for both in-vivo & in-vitro (radio-pharmaceutical & radio-immunoassay) medical diagnostic purposes, in the four countries in Scandinavia, based south of Stockholm, to managing Ph. Ds at a global Swiss headquarters location. – At one time I held a position of Strategy Manager for Europe, Middle-East & Africa (EME&A) for a Chicago based company, but living in Germany. – I do speak fluent colloquial German. – In addition to having lived in multiple European countries, my professional career took me to Asia for well over a decade. There I had management control of Oceania, the Pacific Rim, Northern Asia, Japan, out to India. – Occasionally, management assignments have taken me to all of Latin America, and most of South America. – I am extremely culturally aware, a skilled negotiator, and a seasoned manager of men and science. – My one abiding passion has always been computing, data, and analysis. As such, my main computer operating system is Linux, and open-source computer applications. – I do also run Microsoft 7, and Mac OS X (all 3 operating systems on the same H-P Ultrabook). I hope you enjoy your time on the Blog, and should you have any comments / feedback please feel free to email me @, or visit my Linux Web Site @ (always evolving) – John J. Macey – AKA Adler, which in German means Eagle – Wildwood, New Jersey - Together, we can expand your global markets - with our partnerships. The partnerships are global utlizing multiple Law, Regulatory, Seasoned Management, Employment, M&A and buidlers of Business. Contact use.