IBM’s Watson to start dispensing medical advice


Dr. Watson is accepting new patients. The Watson supercomputer is graduating from its medical residency and is being offered commercially to doctors and health insurance companies. IBM, the health insurer WellPoint, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center announced two Watson-based applications—one to help assess treatments for lung cancer and one to help manage health insurance decisions and claims. Both applications take advantage of the speed, huge database, and language skill the computer demonstrated in defeating the best human Jeopardy! players on television two years ago. In both applications, doctors or insurance company workers will access Watson through a tablet or computer.