IBM Watson

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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Bias has Dangerous Implications

Algorithms are everywhere in our world, and so is bias. From social media news feeds to streaming service recommendations to online shopping, computer algorithms—specifically, machine learning algorithms—have permeated our day-to-day world. As for bias, we need only examine the 2016 American election to understand how deeply—both implicitly and explicitly—it permeates our society as well. What’s often overlooked, however, is the intersection between these two: bias in computer algorithms themselves. Contrary to what many of us might think, technology is not objective...

Artificial Intelligence Is Not as Smart as You (or Elon Musk) Think

Ron Miller | Tech Crunch | July 25, 2017

In March 2016, DeepMind’s AlphaGo beat Lee Sedol, who at the time was the best human Go player in the world. It represented one of those defining technological moments like IBM’s Deep Blue beating chess champion Garry Kasparov, or even IBM Watson beating the world’s greatest Jeopardy! champions in 2011. Yet these victories, as mind-blowing as they seemed to be, were more about training algorithms and using brute-force computational strength than any real intelligence...

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Bingo Medicine: Are EHRs Oppressive Straightjackets?

For several decades, software builders have tried to help doctors practice medicine more efficiently and more effectively. As is often the case with good intentions, the results turned out to be a mixed bag of goods, with paternalistic overtones from the helpers and mostly resentment and frustration from those supposedly being helped. Whether we want to admit it or not, the facts of the matter are that health IT and EHRs in particular have turned from humble tools of the trade to oppressive straightjackets for the practice of medicine. Somewhere along the way, the roles were reversed, and clinicians of all stripes are increasingly becoming the tools used by technology to practice medicine.

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College Students Tackle PTSD at First DC Hackathon

More than 50 college students from across the world gathered this previous weekend at HackDC 2015, the first Hackathon dedicated to crowdsourcing innovative ways to address the serious problem of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by creating mobile applications and solutions. The event, which started on Friday, went through Sunday afternoon. Held at the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center in the Annandale Campus of the Northern Virginia Community Colleges (NVCC), HackDC 2015 provided the participants with access to food, sleeping facilities, and showers so that they could work straight through the weekend. 

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DARPA Offers Free Watson-Like Artificial Intelligence

R. Colin Johnson | EE Times | December 10, 2014

If you wonder what the government has done for you lately, take a look at DeepDive. DeepDive is a free version of IBM's Watson developed in the same Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), but now available free and open-source...

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Document Search Tool May Boost Treatment of Vets with Congestive Heart Failure

Press Release | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs | October 27, 2016

A specialist in biomedical informatics, Dr. Jennifer Garvin has long been interested in improving the care of heart failure patients through evidence-based medical therapy. Cardiovascular disease, the number-one killer of Americans, is the leading cause of hospitalization in VA. Garvin, with the VA Salt Lake City (Utah) Health Care System, thus obtained VA funding and collaborated with colleagues to advance care in this area. She focused on the use of natural language processing, technology similar to that used by IBM Watson in VA...

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Experts Say IBM Watson’s Flaws are Rooted in Data Collection and Interoperability

Evan Sweeney | Fierce Healthcare | September 6, 2017

Despite being backed by a significant budget and the marketing power of a major technology company, IBM Watson appears to be falling short of expectations when it comes to revolutionizing cancer care. The shortcomings of IBM’s premier artificial intelligence system—made famous by its appearance on Jeopardy in 2011 and later co-pted to provide support for oncologists—are linked to a number of factors, according to an in-depth investigation by Stat that included interviews with doctors and artificial intelligence experts from around the world...

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Google Open-Sources The Machine Learning Tech Behind Google Photos Search, Smart Reply And More

Sarah Perez | TechCrunch | November 9, 2015

Google says today it’s making the machine learning technology that powers a number of its products, including Google Photos search, speech recognition in the Google app, and the newly launched “Smart Reply” feature for its email app Inbox. Called TensorFlow, the technology helps makes apps smarter, and Google says it’s far more powerful than its first-generation system – allowing the company to build and train neural nets up to five times faster than before.

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Halamka Gears Up for HIMSS 2017

Next week, 50,000 of our closest friends will gather together in Orlando to learn about the latest trends in the healthcare IT industry. I’ll be giving a few keynote addresses, trying to predict what the Trump administration will bring, identify those technologies that will move from hype to reality, and highlighting which products are only “compiled” in Powerpoint - a powerful development language that is really easy to modify! The Trump administration is likely to reduce regulatory burden but is unlikely to radically change the course of value-based purchasing. This means that interoperability, analytics, and workflow products that help improve outcomes while reducing costs will still be important...

Halamka's 2016 Predictions for Health IT

As the year ends and we archive the accomplishments and challenges of 2015, it’s time to think about the year ahead.  Will innovative products and services be social, mobile, analytics, and cloud (SMAC)?  Will wearables take off?  Will clinicians be replaced by Watson?   Here are my predictions...Apps will layer on top of transactional systems empowered by FHIR...a better approach is crowdsourcing among clinicians that will result in value-added apps that connect to underlying EHRs via the protocols suggested in the Argonaut Project (FHIR/OAuth/REST). One of our clinicians has already authored a vendor neutral DICOM viewer for images, a patient controlled telehealth app for connecting home devices, and a secure clinical photography upload that bypasses the iPhone camera roll. That’s the future.

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Health Tap: Intelligent Interface for Patients

Andy Oram | EMR & HIPAA | January 9, 2017

    allows patients to connect with doctors online, and additionally hosts an enormous repository of doctors’ answers to health questions. In addition to its sheer size and its unique combination of services, HealthTap is ahead of most other health care institutions in its use of data. I talked with founder and CEO Ron Gutman about a new service, Dr. AI, that triages the patient and guides her toward a treatment plan: online resources for small problems, doctors for major problems, and even a recommendation to head off to the emergency room when that is warranted. The service builds on the patient/doctor interactions HealthTap has offered over its six years of operation, but is fully automated...

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IBM's Watson Helps Veterans Transition To Civilian Life

Frank Konkel | Nextgov.com | July 23, 2014

...In Big Blue’s latest effort, the company partnered with USAA, a financial services provider for military members and their families, to pilot a new Watson project aimed at improving the transition process for the more than 150,000 active service members who separate from the military each year...

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My Phone Says I've Looked Better

Current AI can sift through millions of photos to pick you out of a crowd, with varying degrees of success.  Camera angles, make-up, hats, quality of image all factor into how successful such software is.  Given the recent rapid rates of improvement, though, these are bumps in the road, not insurmountable barriers. Other software can process your facial expressions, allowing them to make some good guesses about your emotions.  If you are a marketer, or a law enforcement officer, this information might be gold, but if your privacy is important, it might be a scary invasion.  Someone is always watching. What I want to know is when this AI can tell if I look sick.

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The Most Important Health Care Jobs of the Future

Fast Company ran an interesting article The Most Important Design Jobs of the Future, predicting 18 of the most important design jobs of the future (at least 3 to 5 years out).  A couple of them were in health care, and arguably all of them would have some impact on health care, but I thought it might be fun to do a similar list specific to health care, and not limited to design. Let's hope no one comes back in a few years to show how wrong I was. I'll skip the usual suspects -- e.g., doctors, nurses, pharmacists.  Yes, those jobs will (almost) certainly still be around, but they may not be central as they are today.  And those jobs will evolve in ways that reflect the trends illustrated by the jobs I list...

VA Taps IBM Watson to Help Accelerate and Enhance Care Delivery

Press Release | Veterans Health Administration, IBM | December 16, 2014

IBM today announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is using Watson technology in a pilot to assist physicians in helping accelerate the process of evidence-based medical decision making. The VA joins leading healthcare organizations that are working with IBM Watson to help improve efficiency and quality of care being delivered. As part of the multi-year contract, the VHA will also work with Watson for a clinical focus supporting veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Read More »