20 March 2017

Watson is studying to be a cardiologist

Watson cognitive system will help doctors to make an accurate diagnosis of patients with heart diseases

IBM blog, Geektimes

For several years, the IBM Watson cognitive system has been working in such a complex field as oncology, where it helps to make an accurate diagnosis and find an effective cure for each of the patients. 

Now IBM developers have decided to expand Watson's capabilities by offering assistance to the system and cardiologists. As conceived by the authors of the project, a cognitive cloud platform within the framework of this project will analyze a huge amount of medical data related to a particular patient. These data include ultrasound images, X-rays and all other graphic information that allows you to clarify the diagnosis of a person. 

At the very beginning, Watson's capabilities will be used to search for signs of aortic heart valve stenosis. With stenosis, the aortic opening narrows due to the fusion of its valve flaps, which prevents the normal flow of blood from the left ventricle into the aorta. The problem is that it is not so easy to detect valve stenosis, despite the fact that this is a very common heart defect in adults (70-85% of cases among all defects).

Watson will try to determine what he "sees" in medical images: stenosis, tumor, infection focus or just an anatomical anomaly. The system will work at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

"If you have an ultrasound image of the heart, its quality may not be too good, and the diagnosis and treatment depends on the level of training of specialists who analyze this image," says Ann Lee Grand, one of the leaders of Watson Health. "What we want to do is take a close look at the medical history. We want to help doctors study the medical history more closely."

As in other cases, the Watson system will study a large number of different sources of information, including cardiologists' records, medical history and other data sources. This technology has already been tested at the development stage, however, on a small scale. 

In addition, having access to medical records, Watson will search for other patients with symptoms similar to those of patients with diagnosed heart problems. This will help to detect other people with a similar problem, even if Watson has not studied their pictures, either ultrasound or X-rays. 

In addition to heart problems, Watson is able to clarify the diagnosis of oncology patients using medical images using additional information, diagnose patients with lung diseases or brain problems. In the near future, the developers plan to further expand Watson's capabilities by directing its abilities to diagnose deep vein thrombosis, cardiomyopathy, and various types of heart attacks. 

Initially, the technology will be tested in the USA. American doctors will be able to use the services of the cognitive system in a few months this year. In general, IBM Watson is able to help doctors by removing some of their routine responsibilities for analyzing images, helping to process and analyze such information. The ability to use additional data with information obtained during the analysis of images helps to make an accurate diagnosis with a minimum probability of error. 

It is worth noting that the cognitive system has been used for quite a long time to fight cancer. For example, IBM Watson helps physicians within the Watson for Oncology program. At the same time, the active unit of the system no longer occupies an entire room, but is equal to about three pizza boxes stacked on top of each other. Watson asks questions and makes assumptions using data from the latest medical research in the field of oncology, plus information from the patient's medical record and current symptoms is used. As a result, each patient receives an individual approach – after all, the same disease, even the simplest and most harmless, proceeds differently in different people.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru  20.03.2017

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