IBM has selected the UVM Health Network to help train its Watson health program, one of just 15 sites in the country.
Although Watson is aimed at tackling cancer, diabetes, eye health and brain disease, UVM doctors will specifically work with Big Blue in the area of cardiovascular care. Watson is a supercomputer designed to gather data from multiple sources, including medical trials, health records, imaging and genetic data, and then synthesize it into a manageable summary for physicians.
Doctors believe Watson will ultimately change the course of health care by giving providers better information when diagnosing and treating patients.
"This is a first step, but if we fast forward several years down the line, and I don't really know how far down the line, the idea would be that a patient comes into the physician and the doctor has more information summarized in an easily digestible fashion to help them make the best decisions for that patient. So it really is all about helping patients do better by enabling their physicians to make better decisions," said Dr. David Schneider of the UVM Health Network.
Schneider says Watson already has the data. UVM's job now is to teach it how to process the information with different patient scenarios, be it a heart attack or some other cardiovascular illness or event, and then test the outcomes.
IBM's medical collaborative with the 15 institutions was just announced Wednesday.
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