The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Feb 12, 2013
 

IBM puts its Watson supercomputer to work on cancer

 
 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - IBM is putting its Watson supercomputer to work fighting cancer, in what is described as the first commercial program of its kind to use "big data" to help patients with the disease.

The US computing giant last week unveiled its initiative with health insurer WellPoint and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

The supercomputer, which gained fame by defeating two human champions in the "Jeopardy!" quiz show, has been sifting through some 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, two million pages of text from 42 medical journals and clinical trials in oncology research.

This can speed up the way data is analysed to make the best diagnosis and find the optimal treatment, says Mr Craig Thompson, Sloan-Kettering's president.