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IBM Watson Analytics: Contribution To The Healthcare Field


Task: Provide a detailed report on the contribution made by the IBM Analytics in the field of healthcare.


The modern global platform retains the effective implication of high-end IT infrastructures. The field of health care is not an exception and the decision to include IT in it has been debated for decades. You could observe some common patterns or trace some collective trend in the implication of IT in several fields. The automation required in the processes of recording the medical history of the patient, billing process, retrieving the details of the patient, etc. If taken the instance of the medical field in India, most of the patients (around 75%) are being provided with the trial based medical treatment. The specific detail of dosage is not being recorded and the same had resulted in the death of millions of patients. The systematic recording of such a process could help in eliminating the substantial danger in medical treatment and could save a lot of lives. This level of brilliance could be achieved by the installation of the IBM Watson in the field of health.

The IBM Watson analytics became famous among the customers when it defeated some experts in the Jeopardy show. The experts in the show were Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. It is by this incident that the supercomputer built by the IBM was revealed in front of the global community which was built by Thomas J Watson. In the present scenario, the incident is also claimed to be the inception of the ideology of Artificial Intelligence which has inherent learning capacity. The computer was able to conduct the process of self-assessment and retain the observation to imply in future incidents.

Shifting of IBM Watson Analytics towards the health care sector
Though the authenticity of the IBM Watson Analytics had been assured on the global platform, the team of IBM was not ready to limit the scope of it there itself. The team has observed it that the IBM Watson Analytics can contribute a lot to the field of healthcare. It was from this realization that the effort to make IBM Watson Analytics, the best doctor in the world has started. The system was loaded with the required information regarding the medical field. To ensure the best performance from the system, the conclusions made by the IBM Watson Analytics were scrutinized on a regular basis. In this process, the team had checked the machine with thousands of questions and queries, and the amendments were made in it whenever a discrepancy was observed in it. A huge team had been deployed to check the efficiency of the IBM Watson Analytics. The efficient use of Machine Learning had enabled a format for the questions to be asked and the answers to be delivered. After each observation, certain changes were made in the algorithm of the IBM Watson Analytics, which has increased its efficiency.

Various data sets and pieces of literature were used while increasing the medical analyzing ability of the IBM Watson Analytics. The prominent one of them included the dataset of the patients admitted in the Memorial Sloan Kettering, books like Medline and PubMed. In the process, the IBM Watson Analytics was being loaded with the 605,000 medical symptoms and around 25000 cases of medical interventions. The same fact was being reported by Forbes magazine in the year of 2013. It was in 2015, that the IBM Watson Care Manager and IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance were launched after great efforts. These systems were launched by the effort of some supporting and subsidiary teams like Boston Children’s Hospital, Columbia University, Sage Bionetworks, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and ICON plc.

The company has covered a milestone when the group of Merge Healthcare Inc was being acquired by the IBM group. The Merge Healthcare happened to be the leading company which provided substantial aid to the doctors in storing and retaining the medical images. The same features have been included in the service of the Watson Health Cloud.

The organizations like University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, New York Genome Centre, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, and Cleveland Clinic are some of the major parties which are working in association with the IBM Watson Analytics. It was just in recent years that IBM Watson Analytics has decided to mark its entry in the market of Indian Medical Health Care.

If taken the context of Indian healthcare, the oncology department of the Manipal Hospital has opted for the service of IBM Watson Analytics. The computing platform was being designed by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre. The database of the symptoms and related medical interventions to create the platform were selected from this institute. The system had increased the efficiency of the medical team in Manipal Hospital and provided aid to the doctors so that customized and personalized medical treatment could be delivered to the patient.

 The research and development process in the field of health care has been made much more effective and effort-free by utilizing the features of IBM Watson Analytics Health Loud for Life Sciences. The associated help from the GxP has increased the data sorting ability and security features. 

In the current scenario of global health care service, the IBM Watson Analytics holds great significance and could be deemed as the pioneer for the cognitive computing capability system provider on a commercial basis. The ability of the system to store and analyze a large volume of information, decoding capability to understand complex queries, the ability to understand the natural human language, authentic arrival at the conclusion by relying on the provided data would make it an invaluable asset for any healthcare service institute.

In the initial stage of the diagnosis, the system is provided with the data regarding symptoms a patient has been displaying, the period from which he is experiencing the medical abnormality, medical history in the family, the current medication patient is going through, etc. It is by relying on these data that the analysis and the diagnosis of the medical condition are conducted. The results obtained from the various medical test should also be provided to the IBM Watson Analytics system so that a high level of precision should be maintained in the diagnosis. The system would provide the medical team with a variety of treatment measures along with the probability or the percentage rate of success in each context.

In the current scenario, IBM Watson Analytics has provided various variants for its health care technical service. Let us have a detailed look over the variants which are provided in the below section of this report.

  • Watson for Clinical Trial Matching: The appropriate trials are being suggested by the system to the associated doctors. Thus, the doctor would be provided with the alternative which could be beneficial for the patient in the cancer treatment. To prepare this platform, the company has included the immense database that was retrieved from MSK physicians and the medical history of the cancer patients. The system makes it possible to use evidence-based treatment in an effortless manner.
  • Curam: This particular service of the Curam solutions would provide the health care units with the facility to attain the customized set of predisposed targets in a much effective manner. The strong connection and the network of collaboration between the clients are ensured by the Curam solutions.
  • Watson Discovery Advisor for Life Sciences: Various data sources are being referred to generate a link so that an effective and authentic solution could be found to the introduced problem in the system.
  • Watson for Clinical Trial Matching: The faster decisions and conclusions could be made by the doctors if the system is being installed with the Watson for Clinical Trial Matching. The new and better medical interventions could be made possible by the varieties of approaches suggested by the system.

Process or the methodology followed behind the working of IBM Watson Analytics
It is quite probable that the reader would encounter with the doubt regarding the real working process behind the system of IBM Watson Analytics. The feature of natural language capability is the primary one which makes it a unique system from others in the market. The approaches like evidence-based learning and hypothesis generation by relying on the academic literature, peer-reviewed journals, and case studies would provide further authenticity to the deductions made by the system.

The system provided by IBM Watson Analytics has evolved such a limit that it is now able to provide medical suggestions to even surgeons. The diagnosis and the subscription regarding the medicine for the cure of certain diseases could be done by the system. It is majorly done by checking various parameters concerning the medical data inserted into the system regarding the patient. The process inside the IBM Watson Analytics before arriving at the suggestions to be made for the medical person is listed in the below section of this report. Let us have a detailed look over it.

  • In the first stage, the IBM Watson Analytics is being provided with a query or question on behalf of the medical practitioner. The information regarding the prevailing symptoms and the required information regarding the medical abnormalities are provided to the system in this stage.
  • Various keywords are being identified in the query and are being analyzed with respect to several important datasets. By the means of the Natural Language processing capability, the system of IBM Watson Analytics has been made eligible to understand various medical terminologies and other commands in human language.
  • The machine enters into further analysis by taking into consideration the medical history of his family and other factors like ongoing medication details so that the methods with even the slightest risk could be eliminated in the end.
  • All the collected data is being juxtaposed together to arrive at a common hypothesis. All the data which was collected in the previous steps would be taken into account by the IBM Watson Analytics.
  • It is a very hard task to take all the electronic medical history of the patient into consideration, the related researches conducted all around the world, published clinical studies, new medical theories, publications, new medical diagnosis norms, etc. together to arrive at the medical decision. The same decision has been oversimplified by the use of IBM Watson Analytics. The reference to the latest medical advancements is one of the best features that the IBM Watson Analytics would provide the medical practitioners.

A potential mapping diagnosis is done by the IBM Watson Analytics since it holds all the access over the relevant data regarding the issue presented before it. Each of the probable solutions is provided with a score that would signify the reliability of the suggested hypothesis.

It is the feature of analyzing the produced case study by referring to the current advancements in the medical field along with providing the success rate of each produced hypothesis that makes the IBM Watson Analytics a more reliable and efficient tool. The relevancy level of the decision made by the doctors has been increased substantially, especially in the case where the health care institutes have implied IBM Watson Analytics in their system.

We have provided a figure which could make it clear about the process followed behind the IBM Watson Analytics, to provide the reader a better overview of the modus operandi on its behalf.

mobile technology assignment

Let us discuss the steps mentioned in the flow chart provided.

  1. Posterior to the natural language question provided by the medical practitioner, the machine generates itself a search query.
  2. All the current details regarding the presented scenario are being collected by the machine using an inbuilt search engine.
  3. Based on the command inserted by the doctor, various effective hypotheses are being generated by the IBM Watson Analytics. Below are provided some associated steps in it.
    • Conducting additional searches by taking into consideration the introduced problem. The intensive dataset would help the engine in acquiring all the multifaceted data.
    • The provided hypothesis should be authentic and thus the evidence which ascertains its authenticity is located.
    • When all the backing data is accumulated, the relevancy of each hypothesis is being calculated by taking into consideration the pieces of evidence which back it on a scientific basis. It is the success rate displayed on this basis that each hypothesis is being selected by the doctors.
    • The patient is being implied with the treatment which is being selected by the doctor.

It is in the unstructured text format that the machine provides the result to the IBM Watson Analytics. It is on the platform of the UIMA that most of the activities in the IBM Watson Analytics are being carried out. Various keywords are being generated when the query is being inserted into the system of IBM Watson Analytics. For a single keyword, a lot of search results are generated and it is based on the backing facts that the relevancy is calculated.

Technical Specifications
The open-source software is being used in the working platform od IBM Watson Analytics. The software of Apache UIMA, SPARQL, Apache Incene, etc, is being used in it profusely. The use of personalized algorithms had been made possible because of the use of open-source software.

Apache UIMA
It is under the OASIS UIMA platform that the Apache UIMA generally works. The process of analyzing the text is made possible by the use of Watson applications. It is the network like framework of the applications installed in the IBM Watson Analytics that the whole process is being carried out systematically and effortlessly. The processed data is being forwarded to the chain of other applications so that further actions to be done to arrive at the relevant decisions and hypotheses. Whereas the parallel process through bypassing the series could be made possible by the use of UIMA-AS in the system. The requirement of the application is not to be fast but is to be precise since the major role of it is to assist the doctor in diagnosing the medical abnormality faced by the student. The programming or the development in the Java UIMA - AS is not possible in the absence of ActiveMQ. The feature like Java Messaging Service would make the above-provided feature possible in the software. The process of hypothesis generation and score allocation has already been discussed in the previous section of this report on IBM Watson Analytics.

 It is the use of the C++ and Java program which would help the machine in converting the human language into systematic machine commands. This would decrease the complexity of the process and increase the efficiency of the machine simultaneously.

Apache Lucene
In order to arrive at multiple hypotheses, a large magnitude of the database is being referred by the machine. The observations acquired by referring to the humungous database are then classified and sorted into a convenient way by the use of Apache Lucene. If the manual measure is applied, the hindrances of referring to the raw and unstructured document would have to be faced by human resources.

The software is being designed by using the platform of Java which enables the implication of API. This feature would help them in customizing the application according to the requirement of the user. The same feature would enable the system or the program to analyze the human language commands as similar to the method in which the Google search engine query language works.

Mobile Applications
The scope of the IBM Watson Analytics has now also increased to the platform of the mobile application. The cloud API wing of the IBM Watson Analytics would enable it to develop the software which is compatible with smartphones. The use of IBM Watson Analytics on the phone would increase the acceptability and awareness regarding the service among the customers on a global basis.

As per the global statistical data, the average life span was found to be around 64 years which just reached the estimate of 26 years in the 19th century. The major invention in the previous century was antibiotics which have tripled the average life expectancy all around the world. The use of high-end technology like the IBM Watson Analytics would help in increasing the average life expectancy to the level of around 90 years. The accuracy of medical professionals has been increased substantially because of the use of high-end medical technology. The IBM Watson Analytics has enabled us to derive out customized treatment methods in modern health care units.


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