Feb 08 2017

IBM Watson for Oncology Aims to Bolster Cancer Care for Jupiter Medical Center

Jupiter Medical Center in southeastern Florida will bolster its cancer care for patients next month by becoming the first community hospital in the nation to implement Watson for Oncology, IBM’s artificial intelligence platform that provides evidence-based advice to doctors.

Doctors at New York-based Memorial Sloan Kettering trained the Watson platform to sift through studies and information found in more than 300 medical journals and 200 textbooks to personalize care for patients. John D. Couris, president and CEO of Jupiter Medical, calls the decision to adopt Watson part of a “significant investment” to improve the tools at the disposal of his clinicians.

“At Jupiter Medical Center, we are committed to pioneering new approaches to medicine and healthcare,” Couris says in a press release.

Dr. Abraham Schwarzberg, chief of oncology at Jupiter, says Watson will enable him and his team to individualize treatments offered to patients. “We were impressed by Watson’s analytical ability to help provide relevant treatment options for patients to allow physicians to personalize care in an unparalleled way,” he says.

Research presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December found that Watson for Oncology recommendations for 638 patients “achieved a high degree of concordance,” depending on the breast cancer type, with the multidisciplinary tumor board at Manipal Hospitals in Bengaluru, India. For example, for non-metastatic cancer, the board, which consists of 12 to 15 oncologists, agreed with Watson’s recommendations 80 percent of the time; for metastatic cases, the board only agreed with Watson 45 percent of the time, according to the American Association for Cancer Research.

Additionally, the study found that, on average, it took Watson 40 seconds to analyze cases and make recommendations, compared to about 12 minutes for manual recommendations given by doctors familiar with the cases examined.

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