IBM’s Watson May Prove Instrumental In Battling Mesothelioma

Robotics and computers have helped medical researchers and scientists for several decades. The promises of life-enhancement provided by high-tech computers and intelligent robots have never been more vociferously stated, or desperately needed. Humanity is on the brink of amazing developments in health, science, and all aspects of our human potential. And now IBM’s Watson has arrived, as a supercomputer with the ability to sort and process previously unimaginable amounts of data in fractions of a second. For Watson, the job of providing a real cure for heretofore incurable diseases and conditions like mesothelioma should be, theoretically, a walk in the park. Made famous by three special edition episodes of “Jeopardy!”, Watson is the latest creation by IBM programmers from the company’s most recent "Grand Challenge". The challenge to develop a system that can provide insight within fractions of a second after inputting advanced analytics and data resulted in Watson. Watson can interpret human language heavily reliant on phrases, slang, pictures, and language nuances, and process the data almost instantaneously. According to IBM, Watson's system memory totals 16 terabytes and is able to perform over 80 trillion operations per second to correctly analyze and provide precise correct answers to questions. The technology is referred to as QA Technology and is touted as a tool that should prove to be invaluable to industry and businesses globally. Watson's abilities could revolutionize data processing for all aspects of human development in the business and industrial worlds, not to mention health and medicine. In the field of medicine, diagnoses are made from the doctor's point of perception based on his testing methods, education, and experience. The chance for human error in diagnosing or treatment is always a potential factor. Due to its relative rarity, mesothelioma, a pulmonary cancer resulting from asbestos exposure, is often misdiagnosed. For mesothelioma sufferers, Watson could be a huge breakthrough. With the use of Watson, data, cases, and treatment successes or failures could be instantaneously available to any doctor worldwide. Potentially, physicians will have the very latest data for successful patient treatment within seconds. Fast, correct diagnoses and treatments are especially important for Mesothelioma sufferers as the disease is an extremely aggressive form of cancer and early detection and treatment are crucial to the patient's survival. The mass volume of medical data on all cancers, including Mesothelioma, is staggering. The task of sifting through all the available data to find all the information required to treat Mesothelioma and other specific cancers is one that only a superhuman or supercomputer could complete successfully. Watson could be the answer to that dilemma. Watson was designed to intelligently sort through unstructured data and present the resulting information to end-users cohesively and succinctly for easy assimilation and application. Watson has an amazing IQ and can retain data from millions of medical documents. Watson could be the magnet to pluck out the needle in the medical haystack, providing answers to questions that haven't even been articulated. For sufferers of cancer and other debilitating and fatal diseases, Watson could turn the corner to the cure virtually overnight. Previous: Most Common Mesothelioma Treatments: Chemotherapy Next: Most Common Mesothelioma Treatments: Radiation