IBM's Watson supercomputer has beaten expert "Jeopardy" quiz show contestants, and its predecessor defeated a world chess champion. Now, doctors hope it can help them outsmart cancer.
Oncologists at two medical groups have started to test IBM's Watson's supercomputer system in an effort to improve speed and efficacy of treatments, the company said on Friday.
The Maine Centre for Cancer Medicine and Westmed Medical Group will begin testing an application based on Watson's cognitive computing to help diagnose lung cancer and recommend treatment, IBM said.
"Access to comprehensive care can be difficult in rural areas such as southern Maine," said Tracey Weisberg, medical oncology president at Maine Centre for Cancer Medicine and Blood Disorders, reports Reuters.
"This allows the most comprehensive evidence based treatment we could have only dreamed of in the past," she added.
Watson is an artificial intelligence super computer system named after legendary International Business Machines President Thomas Watson.
Thanks to its computing power Watson can sift through 1.5 million patient records and histories to provide treatment options in a matter of seconds based on previous treatment outcomes and patient histories.
It has been fed with more than 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, 2 million pages of text from 42 medical journals and clinical trials in the area of oncology research, IBM said.