IBM Watson: The Next Big Thing in Healthcare Technology

The healthcare industry has seen a boom in the last few decades and the demand is only increasing each passing year. Changing lifestyle, human evolution, health awareness and urbanization are a few factors that have led to an increased demand for services from this industry! Haven’t most of us witnessed or experienced the agony of endless tests, costly medications and long waiting time? Not only has it become a struggle for the patients but also for doctors and nurses who are constantly working under a high pressure environment of having to balance between patients and research!

Wishing for a system that can solve all your problems in no time and with accuracy is certainly the need of the hour.  Just like in the movie “Elysium”, a  machine that can treat all your illness and disorders, while eliminating all kinds of physical ailments and disorders to improve work efficiency and productivity in no time, would seem like a dream come true for many of us.

The Next Big Thing in Healthcare Technology

Source: anthropology.msu


Watson At the Rescue

Watson health is vested with such advantages, who can solve all issues using machine learning and artificial intelligence. Medical professionals will have an added advantage of ease of doing business and examinations. It is like having a technical assistant, who is already browsing through millions of pieces of information by the time you arrive to the hospital.

IBM Watson’s advanced artificial intelligence program aims to revolutionize healthcare services and industry. It is turning into a computable service where every information is available. And doctors should only deal with their personalized reports instead of studying tons of papers for every patient’s case.

How This System Works?

Watson uses hypothesis generation, natural language skills and evidence-based knowledge to assist medical professionals while making decisions.


For instance, a physician can put a query by describing symptoms and related factors of a patient to the system. Watson will mine all related data about the patient including current medications, family history and other existing conditions. Then, it amalgamates this information with recent findings from tests and studies all data sources to give hypotheses and test them. Based on the study, it provides a list of possible diagnoses along with a confidence score for each hypothesis.

Watson can include treatment procedures, research, clinical studies, medical record data, journal articles and patient info for analysis. This sets a benchmark for healthcare teams comprising of quality standards, up-to-date evidence-based medicine and regulatory requirements.

How Watson can address healthcare challenges

Drug Discovery at Accelerated Rate: In general, research companies in healthcare system takes 10 years on an average to launch a new drug to market. In fact, various experimental drugs never really make it through to market leading to waste of money and time. IBM Watson is already helping quicken the development.

Detecting appropriate treatments: Based on rigorous study and hypotheses, AI is identifying possible treatments of diseases like cancer, AIDS etc. This doesn’t mean that IBM Watson is advocating treatment on its own. On the other hand, it is helping us to upgrade the consistency and overall quality of treatment more quickly and accurately. This allows physicians to devote more time to patients.

Managing the needs of growing population: The unstructured medical data is growing at a hasty rate along with the population. To accurately diagnose the patients while going through with all latest information is a challenging task. Watson assist in diagnosing and treating large number of patients with next level of accuracy.


Receiving healthcare is a necessity not a luxury, hence, a technological innovation in this domain is vital to escape any epidemic. Watson Healthcare is a step towards this revolutionary concept but real development can only be achieved, when this knowledge is put into practice.

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