IBM Says Watson Health’s AI Is Getting Really Good at Diagnosing Cancer

An anonymous reader shares a report: In deciding on cancer treatment, doctors often get together in a “tumor board” to go over the options. IBM’s Watson now sits in on those meetings in a few hospitals, such as in South Korea and India — and it generally makes the same calls that a human expert would. So says IBM in a series of studies it’s presenting this weekend at the ASCO cancer treatment conference in Chicago. “It’s not making a diagnosis. That’s not what we set out to do,” says Andrew Norden of IBM’s Watson Health division. “They will run Watson Oncology in a tumor board and sort of get another external opinion.” Watson’s “concordance rate” — the degree to which it agrees with human doctors — ranged from 73% to 96%, depending on the type of cancer (such as colon cancer) and the particular hospital where the study was done (in India, South Korea, and Thailand).


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