Archive for the ‘ibm software’ Category
Back in September of 2011 I mentioned in this blog post that one of Watson’s first jobs outside of playing Jeopardy! was going to be in the healthcare industry.
Well, earlier today WellPoint, Inc. and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center today unveiled the first commercially developed Watson-based cognitive computing breakthroughs.
These innovations stand alone to help transform the quality and speed of care delivered to patients through individualized, evidence based medicine.
Check out this short video to learn more about how physicians and other medical professionals are able to use IBM’s Watson technology to help them with their medical diagnostic tasks.
The American Cancer Society projects that 1.6 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year alone. Studies suggest that the complexities associated with healthcare have caused one in five health care patients to receive a wrong or incomplete diagnosis.
These statistics, coupled with a data explosion of medical information that is doubling every five years, represents an unprecedented opportunity for the health care industry and next generation cognitive computing systems, to combine forces in new ways to improve how medicine is taught, practiced and paid for.
For more than a year now, IBM has partnered separately with WellPoint and Memorial Sloan-Kettering to train Watson in the areas of oncology and utilization management.
During this time, clinicians and technology experts spent thousands of hours “teaching” Watson how to process, analyze and interpret the meaning of complex clinical information using natural language processing, all with the goal of helping to improve health care quality and efficiency.
“IBM’s work with WellPoint and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center represents a landmark collaboration in how technology and evidence based medicine can transform the way in which health care is practiced,” said Manoj Saxena, IBM General Manager, Watson Solutions (see my interview with Manoj at last fall’s InterConnect event in Singapore further down in the post).
“These breakthrough capabilities bring forward the first in a series of Watson-based technologies, which exemplifies the value of applying big data and analytics and cognitive computing to tackle the industries most pressing challenges.”
Evidence Based Medicine: Addressing Oncology Issues By Quickly Assimilating Massive Amounts Of Medical Information
To date, Watson has ingested more than 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, two million pages of text from 42 medical journals and clinical trials in the area of oncology research.
Watson has the power to sift through 1.5 million patient records representing decades of cancer treatment history, such as medical records and patient outcomes, and provide to physicians evidence based treatment options all in a matter of seconds.
In less than a year, Memorial Sloan-Kettering has immersed Watson in the complexities of cancer and the explosion of genetic research which has set the stage for changing care practices for many cancer patients with highly specialized treatments based on their personal genetic tumor type.
Starting with 1,500 lung cancer cases, Memorial Sloan-Kettering clinicians and analysts are training Watson to extract and interpret physician notes, lab results and clinical research, while sharing its profound expertise and experiences in treating hundreds of thousands of patients with cancer.
“It can take years for the latest developments in oncology to reach all practice settings. The combination of transformational technologies found in Watson with our cancer analytics and decision-making process has the potential to revolutionize the accessibility of information for the treatment of cancer in communities across the country and around the world,” said Craig B.Thompson, M.D., President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. “Ultimately, we expect this comprehensive, evidence-based approach will profoundly enhance cancer care by accelerating the dissemination of practice-changing research at an unprecedented pace.”
The Maine Center for Cancer Medicine and WESTMED Medical Group are the first two early adopters of the capability. Their oncologists will begin testing the product and providing feedback to WellPoint, IBM and Memorial Sloan-Kettering to improve usability.
Speeding Patient Care Through WellPoint’s Utilization Management Pilot
Throughout WellPoint’s utilization management pilot, Watson absorbed more than 25,000 test case scenarios and 1,500 real-life cases, and gained the ability to interpret the meaning and analyze queries in the context of complex medical data and human and natural language, including doctors notes, patient records, medical annotations and clinical feedback.
In addition, more than 14,700 hours of hands-on training was spent by nurses who meticulously trained Watson. Watson continues to learn while on the job, much like a medical resident, while working with the WellPoint nurses who originally conducted its training.
Watson started processing common, medical procedure requests by providers for members in WellPoint affiliated health plans in December, and was expanded to include five provider offices in the Midwest. Watson will serve as a powerful tool to accelerate the review process between a patient’s physician and their health plan.
“The health care industry must drive transformation through innovation, including harnessing the latest technology that will ultimately benefit the health care consumer,” said Lori Beer, WellPoint’s executive vice president of Specialty Businesses and Information Technology. “We believe that WellPoint’s data, knowledge and extensive provider network, combined with the IBM Watson technology and Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s oncological expertise can drive this transformation.”
Watson-Powered Health Innovations
As a result, IBM, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and WellPoint are introducing the first commercially based products based on Watson. These innovations represent a breakthrough in how medical professionals can apply advances in analytics and natural language processing to “big data,” combined with the clinical knowledge base, including genomic data, in order to create evidence based decision support systems.
These Watson-based systems are designed to assist doctors, researchers, medical centers, and insurance carriers, and ultimately enhance the quality and speed of care. The new products include the Interactive Care Insights for Oncology, powered by Watson, in collaboration with IBM, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and WellPoint.
The WellPoint Interactive Care Guide and Interactive Care Reviewer, powered by Watson, designed for utilization management in collaboration with WellPoint and IBM.
New Interactive Care Insights for Oncology
- The cognitive systems use insights gleaned from the deep experience of Memorial Sloan-Kettering clinicians to provide individualized treatment options based on patient’s medical information and the synthesis of a vast array of updated and vetted treatment guidelines, and published research.
- A first of-its-kind Watson-based advisor, available through the cloud, that is expected to assist medical professionals and researchers by helping to identify individualized treatment options for patients with cancer, starting with lung cancer.
- Provides users with a detailed record of the data and information used to reach the treatment options. Oncologists located anywhere can remotely access detailed treatment options based on updated research that will help them decide how best to care for an individual patient.
New WellPoint Interactive Care Guide and Interactive Care Reviewer
- Delivers the first Watson-based cognitive computing system anticipated to streamline the review processes between a patient’s physician and their health plan, potentially speeding approvals from utilization management professionals, reducing waste and helping ensure evidence-based care is provided.
- Expected to accelerate accepted testing and treatment by shortening pre-authorization approval time, which means that patients are moving forward with the first crucial step toward treatment more quickly.
- Analyzes treatment requests and matches them to WellPoint’s medical policies and clinical guidelines to present consistent, evidence-based responses for clinical staff to review, in the anticipation of providing faster, better informed decisions about a patient’s care.
- WellPoint has deployed Interactive Care Reviewer to a select number of providers in the Midwest, and believes more than 1,600 providers will be using the product by the end of the year.
Watson: Then and Now
The IBM Watson system gained fame by beating human contestants on the television quiz show Jeopardy! almost two years ago. Since that time, Watson has evolved from a first-of-a-kind status, to a commercial cognitive computing system gaining a 240 percent improvement in system performance, and a reduction in the system’s physical requirements by 75 percent and can now be run on a single Power 750 server.
The transformational technology, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, was developed in IBM’s Research Labs. Using advances in natural language processing and analytics, the Watson technology can process information similar to the way people think, representing a significant shift in the ability for organizations to quickly analyze, understand and respond to vast amounts of Big Data.
The ability to use Watson to answer complex questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence has enormous potential to improve decision making across a variety of industries from health care, to retail, telecommunications and financial services.
For more information on IBM Watson, please visit www.ibmwatson.com.
You can also follow Watson on Facebook here, and via Twitter at hashtag #IBMWatson.
And below, you can see the aforementioned video where I interviewed IBM Watson general manager Manoj Saxena about Watson’s future at last year’s IBM InterConnect event.
IBM announced this afternoon fourth-quarter 2012 diluted earnings of $5.13 per share, compared with diluted earnings of $4.62 per share in the fourth quarter of 2011, an increase of 11 percent.
Fourth-quarter net income was $5.8 billion compared with $5.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, an increase of 6 percent. Total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2012 of $29.3 billion decreased 1 percent (flat adjusting for currency) from the fourth quarter of 2011.
“We achieved record profit, earnings per share and free cash flow in 2012. Our performance in the fourth quarter and for the full year was driven by our strategic growth initiatives — growth markets, analytics, cloud computing, Smarter Planet solutions — which support our continued shift to higher-value businesses,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer.
“Looking ahead, we continue to invest to deliver innovations for the enterprise in key areas such as big data, mobile solutions, social business and security, while expanding into new markets and reaching new clients. We are well on track toward our long-term roadmap for operating EPS of at least $20 in 2015.”
Following are key details of 4Q 2012 earnings:
GAAP: $5.13, up 11 percent;
Operating (non-GAAP): $5.39, up 14 percent;
GAAP: $5.8 billion, up 6 percent;
Operating (non-GAAP): $6.1 billion, up 10 percent;
Gross profit margin:
GAAP: 51.8 percent, up 1.8 points;
Operating (non-GAAP): 52.3 percent, up 2.1 points;
Revenue of $29.3 billion, down 1 percent, flat adjusting for currency:
Up 1 percent excluding divested RSS business adjusting for currency;
Free cash flow of $9.5 billion, up $0.6 billion;
Software revenue up 3 percent, up 4 percent adjusting for currency;
Services revenue down 2 percent, down 1 percent adjusting for currency;
Services backlog of $140 billion, flat, up $1 billion adjusting for currency;
Systems and Technology revenue down 1 percent, up 4 percent excluding RSS:
System z mainframe up 56 percent.
Full Year 2012
Diluted EPS, up double-digits for 10th consecutive year:
GAAP: $14.37, up 10 percent;
Operating (non-GAAP): $15.25, up 13 percent;
GAAP: $16.6 billion, up 5 percent;
Operating (non-GAAP): $17.6 billion, up 8 percent;
Revenue of $104.5 billion, down 2 percent, flat adjusting for currency;
Free cash flow of $18.2 billion, up $1.6 billion;
Growth markets revenue up 4 percent, up 7 percent adjusting for currency:
BRIC countries up 7 percent, up 12 percent adjusting for currency;
Business analytics revenue up 13 percent;
Smarter Planet revenue up more than 25 percent;
Cloud revenue up 80 percent.
Full-Year 2013 Expectation:
GAAP EPS of at least $15.53 and operating (non-GAAP) EPS of at least $16.70.
IBM released its annual “5 in 5” list yesterday, the seventh year in a row whereby IBM scientists identify a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and interact during the next five years.
The IBM 5 in 5 is based on market and societal trends, as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s R&D labs around the world. This year, the 5 explores innovations that will be underpinnings of the next era of computing, what IBM has described as “the era of cognitive systems.”
This next generation of machines will learn, adapt, sense, and begin to experience the world as it really is, and this year’s predictions focus on one element of the this new era: The ability of computers to mimic the human senses — in their own manner, to see, smell, touch, taste and hear.
But before you try and spoon-feed your iPad some vanilla yogurt, let’s get more practical.
These new sensing capabilities will help us become more aware, productive, and help us think — but not do our thinking for us.
Rather, cognitive systems will help us see through and navigate complexity, keep up with the speed of information, make more informed decisions, improve our health and standard of living, and break down all kinds of barriers — geographical, language, cost, even accessibility.
Now, on to our five senses.
1) Touch: You will be able to touch through your phone. Imagine using your smartphone to shop for your wedding dress and being able to feel the satin or silk of the gown, or the lace on the veil, from the surface on the screen. Or to feel the beading and weave of a blanket made by a local artisan half way around the world. In five years, industries like retail will be transformed by the ability to “touch” a product through your mobile device.
IBM scientists are developing applications for the retail, healthcare and other sectors using haptic, infrared and pressure sensitive technologies to simulate touch, such as the texture and weave of a fabric — as a shopper brushes her finger over the image of the item on a device screen. Utilizing the vibration capabilities of the phone, every object will have a unique set of vibration patterns that represents the touch experience: short fast patterns, or longer and stronger strings of vibrations. The vibration pattern will differentiate silk from linen or cotton, helping simulate the physical sensation of actually touching the material.
2) Sight: A pixel will be worth a thousand words. We take some 500 billion photos a year, and 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. But computers today only understand pictures by the text we use to tag or title them; the majority of the information — the actual content of the image — is a mystery.
In the next five years, systems will not only be able to look at and recognize the contents of images and visual data, they will turn the pixels into meaning, making sense out of it similar to the way a human views and interprets a photographs. In the future, “brain-like” capabilities will let computers analyze features such as color, texture patterns or edge information and extract insights from visual media, having a potentially huge impact on industries ranging from healthcare to retail to agriculture.
But please, no Escher drawings, at least for now…that’s just plain mean.
3) Hearing: Computers will hear what matters. Ever wish you could make sense of all the sounds around you and be able to understand what’s not being said? Within five years, distributed systems of clever sensors will detect elements of sound such as sound pressure, vibrations and sound waves at different frequencies.
It will interpret these inputs to predict when trees will fall in a forest or when a landslide is imminent. Such a system will “listen” to our surroundings and measure movements, or the stress in a material, to warn us if danger lies ahead.
I’m ever hopeful such systems will be able to “listen” to my golf swing and help me course correct so I can play more target golf!
4) Taste: Digital taste buds will help you to eat smarter. What if we could make healthy foods taste delicious using a different kind of computing system built for creativity? IBM researchers are developing a computing system that actually experiences flavor, to be used with chefs to create the most tasty and novel recipes. It will break down ingredients to their molecular level and blend the chemistry of food compounds with the psychology behind what flavors and smells humans prefer.
By comparing this with millions of recipes, the system will be able to create new flavor combinations that pair, for example, roasted chestnuts with other foods such as cooked beetroot, fresh caviar, and dry-cured ham.
“Top Tasting Computer Chefs,” anyone?
5) Smell: Computers will have a sense of smell. During the next five years, tiny sensors embedded in your computer or cell phone will detect if you’re coming down with a cold or other illness. By analyzing odors, biomarkers and thousands of molecules in someone’s breath, doctors will have help diagnosing and monitoring the onset of ailments such as liver and kidney disorders, asthma, diabetes, and epilepsy by detecting which odors are normal and which are not.
Already, IBM scientists are sensing environment conditions to preserve works of art, and this innovation is starting to be applied to tackle clinical hygiene, one of the biggest healthcare challenges today. In the next five years, IBM technology will “smell” surfaces for disinfectants to determine whether rooms have been sanitized. Using novel wireless mesh networks, data on various chemicals will be gathered and measured by sensors, and continuously learn and adapt to new smells over time.
Watch the video below to listen to IBM scientists describe some of these new innovations and their potential impact on our world.