Supercomputer Watson Is Helping Cancer Patients

Watson, IBM’s supercomputer, made famous for winning Jeopardy against human champions, has now been turned towards a different task: helping cancer patients.

In recent years, doctors have been focusing on specific genetic mutations that cause cancer, and are able to more directly target treatment as a result. However, analyzing the human genome means dealing with a huge amount of data; this is a process that is inefficient and time-consuming for a human, but made possible with Watson.

While it would take a human doctor a few weeks to analyze a patient’s genes, Watson can complete the task in a matter of minutes. During this process, it can identify gene mutations that are causing cancer, which allows for more targeted cancer treatment.

This process will help doctors focus more specific treatments for different cancerous tumours. It has the potential to alter the way cancers caused by genetic mutations are treated.

The Cleveland Clinic is one of the medical institutions collaborating with IBM to develop this initiative.

The process is still being refined, but doctors hope that it can become a viable option for helping cancer patients in the near future.

 

For more information, please visit: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32607688