Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

IBM’s ’Jeopardy’ computer lands health care job

Watson, the IBM computer that bested the two all-time Jeopardy! champions earlier this year, is leaving the game show business behind and is heading to work.  

IBM announced today that we are partnering with WellPoint, a US health insurance plan provider with 34 million subscribers, to bring Watson technology to the health care industry.  From the CNN coverage of the announcement:

The goal is for Watson to help medical professionals diagnose and sort out treatment options for complicated health issues. Think of the system as an electronic Dr. House.
"Imagine having the ability to take in all the information around a patient's medical care -- symptoms, findings, patient interviews and diagnostic studies," Dr. Sam Nussbaum, WellPoint's chief medical officer, said in a prepared statement.
"Then, imagine using Watson analytic capabilities to consider all of the prior cases, the state-of-the-art clinical knowledge in the medical literature and clinical best practices to help a physician advance a diagnosis and guide a course of treatment," he added.

WellPoint plans to begin deploying Watson technology in small clinical pilot tests in early 2012.

Also, if you missed seeing Watson compete on Jeopardy earlier this year (or enjoyed it so much you want to watch again), Jeopardy will be re-airing the three-day matchup starting tonight (Sept. 12).