IBM's Watson Gets a Job
Will aid WellPoint doctors, nurses in patient diagnoses, treatments
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Sep 12, 2011 6:59 AM CDT
Ken Jennings, left, and Brad Rutter, right, pose after the episode of "Jeopardy!" that aired Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011, when Watson, the IBM-created megabrain, beat the veteran champs.   (AP Photo/Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

(Newser) – Looks like Watson’s Jeopardy appearance was the ticket to a high-profile job. As the health field goes increasingly digital, health insurer WellPoint is teaming up with IBM to use the technology in medical settings. Watson will ultimately help doctors with diagnoses and treatment suggestions, the Wall Street Journal reports. The deal's terms remain under wraps, but WellPoint will pay “some up front and some over time,” says an IBM exec.

Watson’s first medical job for WellPoint will involve working with nurses tasked with managing complicated patient cases; its next will take it to oncology practices, whose doctors will likely access the technology via their own computers or tablets. Eventually, patients may even be able to get help from Watson directly through an application. IBM hopes Watson can improve care—and one day bring in as much as $1 billion in annual revenue for IBM—while lowering costs, a VP said. But oncologists want to be sure it’s functioning “as an objective tool,” said one, where effectiveness, not cost, is the primary concern.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
Sep 13, 2011 8:10 PM CDT
IBM’s Watson Supercomputer and the anti-Semitic rant that got it tossed off Jeopardy! ...
Sep 12, 2011 10:34 AM CDT
It would be perfect for diagnosing gastrointestinal ailments. Alimentary, my dear Watson.
Sep 12, 2011 10:18 AM CDT
Wasn't Watson the name of the robot in that movie where they go to mars and the robot tries to kill everyone? Now he's in charge of our health records, great.