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The Future Is Here

Source |   |  BY: Rajeev Dubey 

Manipal Hospital’s ‘Tumour Board’ has a panel of qualified oncologists from radiation, medical and surgical streams. Since January, 2017, ‘Watson’-IBM’s artificial intelligence and deep learning framework-has had the honour to occupy one of the seats on the board. Even as specialists evaluate a case, Watson presents its own findings, along with recommended line of treatment. It evaluates the 130-140 parameters of the patient fed into its system against tens of thousands of cases its already been trained on.

Doctors can vary their treatment, or can query Watson live. The doctor is still the boss, though. “Watson is part of decision making process across our seven hospitals for cancer patients,” says Dr Ajay Bakshi, MD & CEO, Manipal Hospitals. Manipal evaluated the impact on two fronts: 600-odd research cases of past patients and clinical cases under treatment. Among past patients, 85 per cent of Watson’s recommendations were identical to the treatment given by Manipal’s doctor. “In another 8-9 per cent, they found Watson recommendations useful and might have considered that option as well,” says Bakshi. Among clinical cases, over 1,000 patients are currently signed up at Manipal to be evaluated by Watson and get recommendations for free. “When you work with Watson, you start with a base level of capability it already has,” says IBM India’s Chief Digital Officer, Nipun Mehrotra.


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