Let me tell you the story and the implication: Siliconangle.com has a story about a woman with Leukemia who had a first failed treatment. It was Watson, the AI, who correctly diagnosed this woman
After treatment for a woman suffering from leukemia proved ineffective, a team of Japanese doctors turned to IBM’s Watson for help, which was able to successfully determine that she actually suffered from a different, rare form of leukemia than the doctors had originally believed.
Watson managed to make its diagnosis after doctors from the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Medical Science was fed it the patient’s genetic data, which was then compared to information from 20 million oncological studies.
This analysis found a different diagnosis for the type of leukemia from which the patient suffered, and it suggested a different form of treatment, which proved far more effective than the original methods doctors had been using up to that point.
Read more for the whole story.
What This Means to Digital Transformation
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To me, this represents a continuing progression in the digital realm. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Watson is going to replace highly skilled Doctors with 15 years of specialized schooling. We aren’t anywhere close to that science fiction world of an Auto-Doc where you place them in the treatment center and off it goes. But if you think about it, this has huge implications.
Most of you know someone close to you with a complicated health problem. It could be a form of cancer, auto-immune disease, obscure toxic contamination, etc. These things are complicated and your first thought is to find the best help possible. Typically, that’s not your local hospital. You want a specialist or a bunch of specialists to determine the best solution. If you aren’t satisfied then you’ll search until you find someone who meets the criteria of having the best chance to save you or your loved one……… as long as they are in network.
So combine an AI like Watson with the deeply felt incentives above and what do you get?
- Those hospitals and clinics which invest in this will have better outcomes they can statistically prove
- Better treatment will come sooner
- Patients and family will speak about, blog about, it
- Those hospitals and clinics will have more patients and more success
- The hospitals and clinics which fail to invest will lose out over time
In the world of digital predators and digital prey, this seems like a direct corollary. The good news is that something like this leads to saved lives and substantially better lifestyles.