Watson is IBM’s supercomputer that is most famous for dominating on “Jeopardy” a few years ago. Since its dramatic and powerful display on the television game show, Watson has been put to work in the healthcare field attempting to solve some of medicine’s biggest problems, such as cancer and chronic care. Since its introduction into the healthcare field, IBM has made some changes to its Watson Health Unit. Now Watson is being utilized by a number of healthcare providers—Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), Columbia University, Sage Bionetworks, Teva Pharmaceuticals and ICON—for its “Watson Genomic Analytics” and Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance.”

“Watson Genomic Analytics” utilizes Watson’s advanced cognitive capabilities to gather data and then analyze it. Watson cross-examines the data entered with research, treatment guidelines and clinical studies to provide a list of existing medical literature relevant to its findings. This enables doctors to make more informed decisions based off of more thoroughly analyzed data via Watson. The IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance can help to accelerate breakthroughs by making quicker connections and drawing relationships between multiple sources of data.

Listed below is a short explanation of how each healthcare provider employing Watson plans on utilizing the computer.

  • BCH will utilize Watson Genomic Analytics in its OPENPediatrics program, aimed toward using big data and analytics to personalize medicine, critical care and heart health among patients.
  • Oncologists working in the Columbia Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center plan on using the supercomputer’s comprehensive analytics to aid in personalizing care through patient DNA analysis.
  • Sage, Teva and ICON all plan on utilizing Watson’s health cloud to improve clinical and research trials.

The growth and expansion of Watson is helping healthcare providers to improve patient care. Not only is Watson a prime example of artificial intelligence, but an even better example of how this tech can be used to critically solve problems.