'Watson' helping cancer patients - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

'Watson' helping cancer patients

Dr. Nancy Taft, the breast surgical oncologist at Jupiter Medical Center is amazed by Watson.

As IBM describes it, Watson is "a cognitive technology that can think like a human."

"Watson has the ability to scan like 250,000 articles and then scan databases so it's up to date and take in all of that information to come up with recommendations," Dr Taft said.

The doctor is looking forward to working alongside Watson, the question/answering computer system.

Jupiter Medical Center is starting to use the new technology for breast cancer patients.

Dr. Taft says certain information is needed. "Well a few things that we put is age, and we talk about their menopausal status and we also talk about the type of cancer.

"Watson tells us do they need chemotherapy, what kind of chemotherapy and it will actually cite articles to support that recommendation. It will tell us about the timing of surgery."

Dr. Taft said it's difficult to read the countless medical journals published every year. But that's where Watson can help with a treatment plan. "It's also going to be a discussion of a second opinion so they've got their second opinion and the research articles so substantiate that opinion."

Dr. Taft compared Watson's answers to patients she had treated in the past. "How did we do according to Watson, did we do the right thing? Through that process we were glad to see that we did do the right thing."

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