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(Forbes)   Remember "Watson," the computer that beat everyone at Jeopardy? Scientists are using its logic to enable it to make medical diagnoses better than a doctor can. Bonus: the computer is the size of a pizza box   (forbes.com) divider line 54
    More: Spiffy, IBM Watson, Pizza box form factor, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, instructions per second, Doctors and Nurses, blood diseases, WellPoint, logic  
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2529 clicks; posted to Geek » on 10 Feb 2013 at 3:36 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-10 03:46:47 PM
Hook it up to an advanced sensor apparatus the size of a large tube of lipstick and you've got yourself a medical tricorder!
 
2013-02-10 03:48:17 PM
Not calling Forbes late to the party, but IBM was saying they were doing this back in June of 2011.  I was at the IBM/Rational conference when they announced it.  It was pretty cool because you could play Jeopardy against Watson in the vendor's exhibit hall - I beat it.

/Well, on one question
//About wine
///Watson's a cheating SOB anyway
////C?SB
 
2013-02-10 03:54:36 PM
Expert systems have been toyed with for decades,  I wonder it's finally following the pattern of other emergent technologies: short term impact is dramatically over-estimated and long term impact is dramatically under-estimated.

We live in a wondrous time.
 
2013-02-10 04:08:55 PM
Jeebus, IBM...will ya hurry up already with applying Watson to cracking the genetic keys to aging? I'm 60 and want to live forever.
 
2013-02-10 04:23:28 PM
When is the Watson App due in app stores?

/not kidding
 
2013-02-10 04:27:42 PM
meat0918: Hook it up to an advanced sensor apparatus the size of a large tube of lipstick and you've got yourself a medical tricorder!

Put it on a holodeck and ... please state the nature of the medical emergency.
 
2013-02-10 04:28:04 PM
Thank god.  I can't wait for the cell phone app.  I already have my balls dangling in front of my cell phone while watching porn, and I wouldn't mind coughing here and there for a checkup.
 
2013-02-10 04:28:29 PM
narrow knowledge expert systems are easier to program than general knowledge systems.

If all you have is a hammer everything else looks like a nail.

That is all.
 
2013-02-10 05:01:54 PM
Autodoc from the Ringworld series.
 
2013-02-10 05:09:40 PM

JasonOfOrillia: Expert systems have been toyed with for decades,  I wonder it's finally following the pattern of other emergent technologies: short term impact is dramatically over-estimated and long term impact is dramatically under-estimated.

We live in a wondrous time.


Presentation I saw at the conference focused less on the diagnostic for individual patients, and more on the idea of feeding it a few dozen of the biggest medical libraries in order to find relationships and connections that humans have not yet linked together.

I suppose in theory, someday they will have Watson hooked up to like 98% of all recorded human knowledge.  Of course, if Lovecraft was right, this could be a very bad thing.

/The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.
 
2013-02-10 05:10:47 PM
Of course, it still has a few kinks to work out.  For example, all its treatment recommendations are phrased in the form of a question.  And it has a suspiciously bad track record when dealing with patients named Sarah Connor.

/shut up, someone had to
 
2013-02-10 05:28:42 PM
So, Watson is now actually a practicing doctor?

Now all we need is to send it to fight in Afghanistan.
 
2013-02-10 05:29:43 PM
I can only imagine if Watson actually had to interact with patients the hilarity that would ensue. Would it biatch slap every single patient who refuses to take their maintenance hypertension medication as they can "tell" when they are up? How the heck would it deal with bizarro complaints like "KFC (and only KFC) is causing me massive rhinorrhea" and "no, not eating KFC isn't an option." I'd actually pay money to see that.
 
2013-02-10 05:34:05 PM
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-02-10 05:48:17 PM
So the ER conversations will actually start sounding like this?
 
2013-02-10 05:52:13 PM
Great. Put it in mall kiosks, let me pay with quarters, and I can skip doctors altogether.
 
2013-02-10 06:00:13 PM
In BM had already trained Watson to have the knowledge of a second-year medical student.

By now Watson should know how to double and triple bill.
 
2013-02-10 06:04:47 PM
Anyone read the story about the time they tried to add Urban Dictionary to Watson?  Apparently it'd start casually dropping F-bombs and stuff into its output.  I'd kill for some videos of their initial testing.
 
2013-02-10 06:11:53 PM
The biggest problem right now with medical records analysis is all the garbage in medical records. In order to find relevant information inside even electronic medical records (emrs), you sometimes have to look in multiple places for the relevant information, which is in clinical notation or free form. A great deal of time has to be spent getting medical records into computer ready format. I'm sure that Watson is as good at natural language processing as possible, but its not just the language that's an issue, it's the entire way we keep emrs and how we approach patient care. If we're to succeed with tools like Watson, we have to turn diagnostic arts into piecewise symptoms.

Also, using tools like Watson is dangerous for doctors, A good freind and excellent doctor once told me that a doctor should never ask questions or perform tests that the doctor is not prepared to treat. This is not only an ethical matter but a legal one, as if you get information about a patient that you do not act on, you can be sued. If Watson tells a doctor it's Disease B, and the doctor believes its Disease A, what happens? Is Watson right? What decision won't end up injuring the patient? If the doctor decides on a cancer treatment but the patient dies, will the doctor be sued for not trying Watsonsbway, because the doctor had that information?

Personally, I think Watson is not going to be used outside of limited tort states, and even then...
 
2013-02-10 06:12:02 PM
May 2011 IBM had already trained Watson to have the knowledge of a second-year medical student.

The trouble is medical education is really terrible. You learn how to be about eight kinds of doctors, and then you abandon most of that knowledge if you don't follow a popular career path. Even if you do, you can still forget most of what you know. Then follow that up with 4 or more years of the same.
 
2013-02-10 06:15:03 PM

DO NOT WANT Poster Girl: A good freind and excellent doctor once told me that a doctor should never ask questions or perform tests that the doctor is not prepared to treat. This is not only an ethical matter but a legal one, as if you get information about a patient that you do not act on, you can be sued.


What? No. This sounds misinterpreted.

This is what referrals are for. Doctors should not be in constant fear of legal action.
 
2013-02-10 06:17:03 PM

moothemagiccow: May 2011 IBM had already trained Watson to have the knowledge of a second-year medical student.

The trouble is medical education is really terrible. You learn how to be about eight kinds of doctors, and then you abandon most of that knowledge if you don't follow a popular career path. Even if you do, you can still forget most of what you know. Then follow that up with 4 or more years of the same.


Whew can you just imagine how much Watson, a computer with ridiculous storage and recall abilities is going to forget compared to a drunken 2nd year med student?  Yikes!
 
2013-02-10 06:30:02 PM

moothemagiccow: DO NOT WANT Poster Girl: A good freind and excellent doctor once told me that a doctor should never ask questions or perform tests that the doctor is not prepared to treat. This is not only an ethical matter but a legal one, as if you get information about a patient that you do not act on, you can be sued.

What? No. This sounds misinterpreted.

This is what referrals are for. Doctors should not be in constant fear of legal action.


No, this is not misinterpreted. Example: patient comes to a specialist doctor with symptoms that resemble a particular non-lethal syndrome that affects several other medical specialist areas that are not under care of that doctor. Now, that doctor in theory can test for that syndrome, but the positive or negative result of that test would not affect the standard of care for the patient with that doctor.

Does the doctor (1) do that test and find out if the patient has the disease though its not really a standard of care, (2) note the symptoms and advise the patient to find a specialist in that syndrome to be tested or (3) go on as usual with the usual standard of care?

Guess which one is safest if the doctor does not record anywhere that he suspects a disease outside of his specialty.
 
2013-02-10 06:30:49 PM
This is good news for Skynet since obtaining real data on human physiology will allow it to better kill humans.

/amirite?
 
2013-02-10 06:49:40 PM

PsyLord: This is good news for Skynet since obtaining real data on human physiology will allow it to better kill humans.

/amirite?


No, that data just makes it easier to plug us into the Matrix.

www.virtualworldlets.net
 
2013-02-10 06:56:01 PM

DO NOT WANT Poster Girl: moothemagiccow: DO NOT WANT Poster Girl: A good freind and excellent doctor once told me that a doctor should never ask questions or perform tests that the doctor is not prepared to treat. This is not only an ethical matter but a legal one, as if you get information about a patient that you do not act on, you can be sued.

What? No. This sounds misinterpreted.

This is what referrals are for. Doctors should not be in constant fear of legal action.

No, this is not misinterpreted. Example: patient comes to a specialist doctor with symptoms that resemble a particular non-lethal syndrome that affects several other medical specialist areas that are not under care of that doctor. Now, that doctor in theory can test for that syndrome, but the positive or negative result of that test would not affect the standard of care for the patient with that doctor.

Does the doctor (1) do that test and find out if the patient has the disease though its not really a standard of care, (2) note the symptoms and advise the patient to find a specialist in that syndrome to be tested or (3) go on as usual with the usual standard of care?

Guess which one is safest if the doctor does not record anywhere that he suspects a disease outside of his specialty.


2 is the best but it sounded like you were pushing for 3
 
2013-02-10 06:58:31 PM
I saw one of the early presentations of this a few years ago.  I saw it with a room full of academic doctors who were dept chairs, deans, and the best of their field type of doctors.  Hardly any of the doctors were very impressed with it.  In the Q/A that followed, the doctors told IBM that decreasing the diagnosis time from 20 minutes or so max that a newb doctor might take (or two or three minutes an experienced doc might take) to the 30 seconds that Watson could do it in was not that impressive, since in most cases, speed of diagnosis is not the choke-point or bottle-neck in healthcare.  Also, few cases are complicated enough that you need a supercomputer to diagnose.  Life is not like a House episode.

What the doctors told IBM where Watson could be very helpful is that the doctors could tell Watson their own diagnosis and treatment plan, and Watson could act in behalf of insurance companies to approve drugs/treatment for a given patient.  That is one of the choke-points/bottle-necks in healthcare.  Sometimes it can takes weeks for an insurance co. to approve a treatment plan.  If the doctors could get insurance approval within a few minutes for a treatment plan, that would be tremendously helpful.  In many cases they could then start treatment while the patient is still at the initial appointment.  The IBM guys weren't understanding what the doctors were saying, and kept going back to, "But look at this supercomputer that can diagnose patients!  Isn't it cool?!?!"
 
2013-02-10 07:40:26 PM
So Watson is placed in a kiosk at the neighborhood drug store and able to give a diag without appointments and in under 10 minutes that covers most everyday issues at a greatly reduced costs. How long afterwards will medical professionals complain that it is taking their jobs and they need protection from such technology?
 
2013-02-10 07:42:55 PM

grimeystubs: So Watson is placed in a kiosk at the neighborhood drug store and able to give a diag without appointments and in under 10 minutes that covers most everyday issues at a greatly reduced costs. How long afterwards will medical professionals complain that it is taking their jobs and they need protection from such technology?


Don't worry the doctors will just be free'ed up to do the more complicated tasks.

/Would prefer to see this tech applied against the lawyer trade, they are far more deserving of being run right out of work.
 
2013-02-10 08:38:01 PM
So . . . if I want to be healthy, I should eat a whole boxful of pizza?

/drtfa
 
2013-02-10 08:44:00 PM
A quick scan, a little blood, a little urine ... brrrripp zip zip ... out pops a diagnosis and list of treatments.

/it's coming
//not soon enough
 
2013-02-10 09:15:35 PM
Running it by "Watson" will become necessary to get approval for treatment under Affordable Healthcare Act treatment, just you watch. This is very convenient, because political enemies of the regime will be "taken care of" by Watson's "treatment options" and Watson knows who it's treating so as to make sure there are no medication "allergies" wink wink
 
2013-02-10 09:19:54 PM

dynomutt: Running it by "Watson" will become necessary to get approval for treatment under Affordable Healthcare Act treatment, just you watch. This is very convenient, because political enemies of the regime will be "taken care of" by Watson's "treatment options" and Watson knows who it's treating so as to make sure there are no medication "allergies" wink wink


When you kidnap the kid and put him in your bunker, remember to stock plenty of Kraft Mac 'n Cheez. Keeps the little buggers complacent.
 
2013-02-10 09:22:35 PM
Great. I can't wait for misdiagnosis due to 'unexpected conditions' that lie outside its dictionary, and even better, miscalibration once Watson's approved for bigger and better things.

Just because you can put your dick in the pickle jar doesn't mean you should.
 
2013-02-10 09:37:14 PM

meat0918: Hook it up to an advanced sensor apparatus the size of a large tube of lipstick and you've got yourself a medical tricorder!


Just don't mix up which sensor goes in your ass.
 
2013-02-10 09:41:38 PM

Lady Beryl Ersatz-Wendigo: So . . . if I want to be healthy, I should eat a whole boxful of pizza?

/drtfa


I think you've hit on the most important takeaway of this article.

Pizza.
 
2013-02-10 10:08:35 PM
Can we call it a Custodian?
 
2013-02-10 10:22:27 PM
so if we eat enough pizzas we get to be diagnosed by a pizza?
 
2013-02-10 10:53:45 PM
Almost 40 posts and nobody has made a reference to robot-Watson from Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century?

Fark, I am disappoint.
 
2013-02-10 11:54:03 PM
This sort of technology is badly needed.   Badly needed!  We're at the point where doctors can diagnose the kinds of problems that affect 80-90% of the population, but as soon as you throw a curveball, doctors just don't know how to handle it well.  They are so used to talking about the same symptoms over and over again, with the same diseases, that pretty soon, they are just hitting every screw with a hammer.  Even with a referral, you encounter the same kind of problem, except it's on a smaller scale.

Case in point: my sister ended up with a bizarre diet problem, where certain foods would make her sick to her stomach.  But, it wasn't the usual suspects, like meat or fatty foods or MSG or lactose, etc., etc.  They took out her gall bladder without actually knowing if that would fix her problem.  Just taking out a frelling organ without a clear understanding of the issue.  It didn't fix it.  She eventually found some medication that worked.

If you've ever watched stuff like House, you really wish that departments like that exist, but they don't.  There is not a crack team ready to diagnose your problem.  There never will be.  The closest thing you have to House in real life is "Mystery Diagnosis".  The sad part about that show is that the oddball problems usually boil down to having a doctor just listen to the symptoms, consult some reference guides, and then declaring "Oh, it looks like you have X."  This kind of technology would solve for that.

Now, if only they can extract more information from our fluids, so that we can piss in a cup, get a blood sample, and just tell us what is wrong.  This "spinning shiat in a test tube" is incredibly primitive.
 
2013-02-11 12:55:04 AM

blue_2501: The sad part about that show is that the oddball problems usually boil down to having a doctor just listen to the symptoms, consult some reference guides, and then declaring "Oh, it looks like you have X." This kind of technology would solve for that.


Actually, technology is likely to be less helpful than you might think at discerning rare conditions - which are hard to diagnose because they are rare.  Even if the computer has very high sensitivity and specificity, the positive predictive value is likely to be crap just due to the low incidence in the population.

Basically even if you have every textbook symptom of rare condition X, it's usually still more probable that the symptoms are caused by multiple common problems than the single rare one.
 
2013-02-11 01:03:14 AM

Stone Meadow: Jeebus, IBM...will ya hurry up already with applying Watson to cracking the genetic keys to aging? I'm 60 and want to live forever.


There are other scientists working on that, and I've actually heard buzz that they think they're fairly close. Give it a decade, and another two to develop a treatment. Depending on how well whatever they come up with can reverse existing symptoms of aging, you may make it.

Of course, you will still die. It'll just be of cancer rather than your heart growing too weak because the muscles are degrading as the cells stop replicating properly.
 
2013-02-11 01:44:02 AM

Sum Dum Gai: Basically even if you have every textbook symptom of rare condition X, it's usually still more probable that the symptoms are caused by multiple common problems than the single rare one.


So basically, you're saying it's not lupus.
 
2013-02-11 03:39:06 AM

BumpInTheNight: Anyone read the story about the time they tried to add Urban Dictionary to Watson?  Apparently it'd start casually dropping F-bombs and stuff into its output.  I'd kill for some videos of their initial testing.


That's urban legend...wait for it...ary.
 
2013-02-11 05:03:50 AM

Mayhem of the Black Underclass: [2.bp.blogspot.com image 400x206]


You beat me to it. But I was going to start with, "You say spiffy, I say scary"
 
2013-02-11 06:50:59 AM

Sum Dum Gai: blue_2501: The sad part about that show is that the oddball problems usually boil down to having a doctor just listen to the symptoms, consult some reference guides, and then declaring "Oh, it looks like you have X." This kind of technology would solve for that.

Actually, technology is likely to be less helpful than you might think at discerning rare conditions - which are hard to diagnose because they are rare.  Even if the computer has very high sensitivity and specificity, the positive predictive value is likely to be crap just due to the low incidence in the population.

Basically even if you have every textbook symptom of rare condition X, it's usually still more probable that the symptoms are caused by multiple common problems than the single rare one.


One case I remember involved purple stool.  I thought "WTF... That's certainly a rare symptom."  I'm sure there are plenty of diseases like that.
 
2013-02-11 08:16:54 AM
The allocator demands a higher treatment coefficient before you can proceed with treatment.

\Nerd trap set
\\Grabs popcorn.
 
2013-02-11 09:37:24 AM

cptjeff: Stone Meadow: Jeebus, IBM...will ya hurry up already with applying Watson to cracking the genetic keys to aging? I'm 60 and want to live forever.

There are other scientists working on that, and I've actually heard buzz that they think they're fairly close. Give it a decade, and another two to develop a treatment. Depending on how well whatever they come up with can reverse existing symptoms of aging, you may make it.

Of course, you will still die. It'll just be of cancer rather than your heart growing too weak because the muscles are degrading as the cells stop replicating properly.


You're correct, of course, and I am following numerous lines of anti-aging research. I also will happily take an incremental approach if it humps me over to the next breakthrough... ;^)
 
2013-02-11 09:55:44 AM

blue_2501: This "spinning shiat in a test tube" is incredibly primitive.


Life isn't like a science fiction show, junior.
 
2013-02-11 11:16:07 AM

TommyDeuce: JasonOfOrillia: Expert systems have been toyed with for decades,  I wonder it's finally following the pattern of other emergent technologies: short term impact is dramatically over-estimated and long term impact is dramatically under-estimated.

We live in a wondrous time.

Presentation I saw at the conference focused less on the diagnostic for individual patients, and more on the idea of feeding it a few dozen of the biggest medical libraries in order to find relationships and connections that humans have not yet linked together.

I suppose in theory, someday they will have Watson hooked up to like 98% of all recorded human knowledge.  Of course, if Lovecraft was right, this could be a very bad thing.

/The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.


I've been wondering when this would happen. As more docs go to EMR systems it seems like correlations undreamed of can be found with huge mounds of data
 
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