IBM Watson pinpoints rare form of leukemia after doctors misdiagnosed patient

The supercomputer identified a different type of cancer than the one doctors were currently treating for a patient in Japan.
By Bernie Monegain
10:58 AM

University of Tokyo doctors report that IBM Watson spotted a 60-year-old woman's rare form of leukemia – a diagnosis that had eluded her doctors for months.

Physicians had judged the woman’s leukemia to be another type, and were treating her accordingly, but having little effect.

Watson compared the patient's genetic changes with a database of 20 million cancer research papers, according to reports. The supercomputer’s diagnosis led to the right treatment for the patient.

[Also: IBM Watson aligns with 16 health systems and imaging firms to apply cognitive computing to battle cancer, diabetes, heart disease]

The univeristy said that Watson has also identified a different rare form of leukemia in another patient. 

In 2011 Watson started to study medicine at Columbia University and the University of Maryland, where it was fed medical cases and research papers.

Fast forward to 2016, and IBM Watson has forged partnerships with 16 health systems and imaging firms to battle cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The company is also working with the VA on Vice President Joe Biden's Cancer Moonshot. 

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com


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