Paging Dr. Watson…….

As some of you may have already heard, Watson was created by IBM to have human-like cognitive processing abilities.  In short, a computer that can process mass amounts of data and it’s nuances in order to make a decision.  (Remember the Jeopardy episode where two human players played against Watson?)  In healthcare, clinicians face a daunting challenge everyday where they have to take in a lot of data, make quick decisions that could cause harm (or even death to their patients), and do that in increasingly short encounters in hospitals and outpatient settings.  While Watson was pretty cool to watch answering obscure questions about say Russian history, the application in the clinical workflow to aid clinicians could be a game changer.  The VA is in fact doing this by deploying Watson for a “clinical reasoning system”.

What are your thoughts about this?  Is this too much too soon or will this truly help us all in the end?

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