Posted by:Nithin Rao September 28th, 2016

As the healthcare world grapples with humongous amounts of data generated, consider this

Watson can read 40 million documents in 15 seconds. 80% of health data is invisible to current systems because it’s unstructured. Watson Health can see it.

A quick look at IBM Watson’s capabilities highlight the potential it has in healthcare. From wellness to improving healthcare outcomes, from reducing costs to driving innovations, Watson is fast becoming a powerful player in this field.

To this end, IBM has been leveraging Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities. Last year, it acquired Merge Healthcare Inc, a leading provider of medical image handling and processing. This acquisition gives IBM access to more than 30 billion medical images from over 7,500 hospitals and clinics all over the US. In this scenario, Watson’s deep learning ability would be used to study and diagnose melanoma, a form of skin cancer difficult to spot based on its unique manifestation within each individual.

Merge’s clients can compare new medical images with not only a patient’s medical history but also with the population of similar patients to generate insights that can help healthcare providers and researchers to come up with more personalized diagnosis and treatment options.

Similarly, let’s consider the area of wellness. IBM has another strategic partnership with Under Armour, to add more Watson power and provide data-backed health and fitness insights. Under Armour envisions added capabilities in the areas of athlete behavioral and performance management, food intake tracking, nutrition management and more , all thanks to the Cognitive Coaching System powered by IBM Watson.

There are various stakeholders within the healthcare ecosystem from researchers to physicians and administrators. We will explore more in the next series of this blog.

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