Early in September, WellPoint, Inc. and IBM televised an agreement to use the Jeopardy! Award winning computer named Watson in helping doctors make medical decisions for their complex patients’ cases.
This program, which is deemed to fully function by 2012, will begin its assistance through helping out nurses review treatment requests from medical providers.
The next thing to be done with Watson would be to place it in a field to limited oncology practitioners.
It is perceived that Watson, with its ability to process pages and pages of data in only 3 seconds, will be able to help doctors answer their questions about medical symptoms and compare reactions to treatment processes.
The goal eventually is to cut the costs of quality service, which is usually high when several experts are involved in a singular medical consultation event.
WellPoint’s Chief Medical Officer Sam Nussbaum, M.D., had given words regarding Watson’s excellent system performance.
He had said that given the several advances in medical science and clinical knowledge, and given Watson’s analytical capacity to consider all prior cases similar to the new one being input in its system, and the capacity to take in all patient information from symptoms to findings to patient interviews, Watson, will surely help the consulting physician come up with diagnosis and provide a treatment outlay fast.
The Chief Medical Officer also added “We believe this will be an invaluable resource for our partnering physicians and will dramatically enhance the quality and effectiveness of medical care they deliver to out members.”
A problem however with the set up, although this has probably not much been focused on by IBM and WellPoint, Inc. is the idea that Watson made some geography mistake during its Jeopardy win.
When faced with the final question about US Cities (Its Largest Airport is named after a World War II hero and Its Second Largest after World War II Battle) Watson’s answer was Toronto, when the answer was Chicago.
This thing, being a simple mistake, still reflects the idea that even the smartest computers will always make some blunder.
If this is the case, then Watson’s future performance will be highlighted and scrutinized.
However, who get’s to be sued for malpractice when Watson blunders? The medical specialist or IBM?