Computers like WATSON will change how future doctors diagnose and treat
Canadians, says IBM expert
IBM Speaker to address new Royal College task force examining technology in
OTTAWA, Nov. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Computers like IBM's Watson will drastically
change how future physicians' currently make diagnoses and recommend
treatments, says an international expert addressing a new Royal College task
force examining how health care can best take advantage of today's
Made famous on Jeopardy!, Watson is a cognitive computing system with the
ability to understand natural language, learn from millions of pages of
journals rapidly and hypothesize possible medical diagnoses and treatments.
Jeffrey Betts, the head of IBM's Chronic Disease Management and Personalized
Healthcare activities, will discuss its health care potential as the inaugural
speaker at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada's Innovation
and Technology Task Force.
"Watson can never replace the expertise, intelligence and experience of a
Royal College specialist physician," says Betts. "But it can make sure your
physician has the latest information synthesized and available at their
One of the problems that doctors currently face is the speed of new
information being made available in their field of expertise. Over a million
articles were abstracted in PubMed last year, noted Betts. Cognitive computers
such as IBM's Watson will enable a physician to analyze the breadth of
research and the latest information to help make the best possible diagnosis
for their patient.
The question of how to incorporate emerging technologies like Watson into
health care delivery and teaching is something that the Royal College would
like to answer. On Wednesday, November 6, 2013, the Royal College will
officially launch its Task Force on Innovation and Technology, which will
explore how the medical system can best employ available, cost-effective
technologies that improve Canadian health care.
"To practice effectively now and into the future, we need to have a better
understanding of technology trends, and how to leverage them into the health
system," said task force co-chair Susan Brien, MD, FRCSC, Royal College
director of research, innovation and scholarship. "Health care innovations can
play a huge role in enhancing patient communication and information, access to
care, education and new practices and tools."
A key function of the Royal College's task force will be to work with industry
players in medical innovation and technology, to learn about research and
development trends and make suggestions on areas of critical need for
"The role of the Innovation and Technology Task Force is to improve Canadian
health care by supporting specialists in practice with innovative
technologies," says Dave Perfetti, the Royal College's chief information
officer and task force co-chair. "It's important that we ensure that new
technology is incorporated into medical practice and teaching without
jeopardizing patient safety. We want to know how and to what degree
technologies with implications for medicine should be embraced."
For further information:
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons' Innovation and Technology Task
Force meets on November 6 and 7, 2013 in (Fairmont Hotel, Vancouver). Jeffrey
Betts will be the keynote speaker at 8 p.m. on November 6, at a dinner held
(Fairmont Hotel, Vancouver). The task force meets all day Thursday.
About the Royal College
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
(http://www.royalcollege.ca) is the home of specialty care in Canada, setting
the setting the standards for postgraduate medical education, supporting the
continuing professional development of 44,000 members, and shaping health
system innovations nationwide.
SOURCE Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Sandy Shearman, Communications Manager 613-730-8177 ext
To learn more about IBM's Watson contact Leslie Plant, IBM External
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-0- Nov/06/2013 15:45 GMT
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