SEARCH
Current Location:
>
> This Story


Log in or Register to rate this News Story
Forward Printable StoryPrint Comment

Never Miss a Story

Sign up for email alerts

 

More Industry Headlines

Mevion partners with Philips to improve proton therapy treatment New technology only takes a few seconds to scan tumor

Kentucky Trailer acquires Advanced Mobility to expand medical footprint Together they look toward a greater international presence

Screening with tomo and mammo leads to 405 fewer false positives per 1,000 women The cost of the two is relative to cost of mammo alone

Comparing catheters for early stage breast brachytherapy Is the treatment underutilized? The BC5 Project thinks so.

Health Gorilla Marketplace expands in effort to demystify ACO and IPA options Version 2.0 adds seven new vendor categories to its market reach

Siemens' new MR kit may reduce pediatric anxiety and need for sedation Could lead to reduced costs and increased efficiency

400 experts gather at Focused Ultrasound Foundation's annual meeting 200 scientific presentations show promising new research

380 hospitals execs weigh in on the future The quest to provide better care with fewer resources

Companies develop pediatric medical devices to compete for $50,000 prize Will the smallest of patients finally have more options?

New imaging method may detect cancer earlier Will shortwave infrared be a bright spot?

Sridhar Sudarsan (left)
and Vance Allen (right)
speaking about CafeWell Concierge

Bringing IBM Watson into the palm of your hand

by Lauren Dubinsky , Staff Writer
Imagine an application on your smartphone that can speak and give you personalized answers to every health related question you might have. Soon you won't have to imagine it because it's going to become a reality. The topic was the focus of a keynote speech titled "IBM Watson: From Jeopardy Winner to Personal Health Concierge", at this year's HxRefactored conference in New York.

The application is called CafeWell Concierge and it was born from a partnership between IBM and Welltok, a social health management company, in November. It combines Welltok's flagship health optimization platform and IBM's cognitive computing system called IBM Watson, enabling the user to have a personal dialogue with the application.

Story Continues Below Advertisement

See the Future of Radiology at RSNA 2014

Agfa HealthCare (Booth #4708) will focus on the 'Future of Radiology', demonstrating specific ways in which it is meeting the various & evolving needs of healthcare. Click for more info or to schedule a private demonstration



"You can use concierge to ask very hard health care questions and Watson will give you answers in a very natural language form," said Vance Allen, chief technology officer of Welltok.

Allen opened the keynote with an example: Scott is a developer with a health care company, but he's stressed out since he has a very busy work life. He gets an invitation to join CafeWell Concierge and then later on goes to his doctor to get a physical.

When he goes into the application later, Watson asks Scott how his appointment went, and he tells Watson that he found out that he's pre-diabetic. Watson then goes on to answer any questions Scott has about the condition and even suggests activities he can engage in to improve his health.

"It leverages the power of cognitive computing and Watson to allow you to have a personal dialogue, and acts as your personal health guide," said Allen.

Behind the scenes, it's extremely complex. "It might look simple by design but there's a number of pieces in here that need to go in from a technology perspective to make something like that happen, to make something like that real," said Sridhar Sudarsan, chief technical officer of the IBM Watson Ecosystem.

Sudarsan explained that one of the things that sets the Watson technology apart from technology available today is its cognitive nature. Other applications can help a user find a restaurant based on the distance and their preferences but the Watson technology can recommend a restaurant based on the user's dietary needs and interest through all of the conversations they had in the past with the technology.

"That's what we're trying to do here, with Watson — bring in that cognitive computing piece," said Sudarsan. "That's one big missing gap that we're bringing in."

He said this is the start of a new era of computing that's moving away from programmatic computing toward cognitive computing. It's shifting toward technology that can understand and sift through large amounts of data, which is important since the majority of data today is unstructured and it's continuing to grow.

But the question remains as to how Watson is going to help health care from a doctor's perspective. Sudarsan explained that one in five doctors use evidence-based knowledge and almost 80 percent of doctors spend five hours researching new studies or literature every month. Doctors don't always have the bandwidth to learn and research all of that, and that's where Watson could come in.

IBM is also trying to figure out how they can help doctors diagnose cancers, especially lung and breast cancer. "We're trying to see how we can take Watson out into the areas where don't have expertise," said Sudarsan.

CafeWell Concierge is still under development now but Allen and Sudarsan said that it will be available this fall.

Related:


Interested in Medical Industry News? Subscribe to DOTmed's weekly news email and always be informed. Click here, it takes just 30 seconds.

You Must Be Logged In To Post A Comment

Access and use of this site is subject to the terms and conditions of our LEGAL NOTICE & PRIVACY NOTICE
Property of and Proprietary to DOTmed.com, Inc. Copyright ©2001-2014 DOTmed.com, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED