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IBM Inks Watson Deal With Veterans Affairs Dept.

IBM_Watson

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is using Watson technology in a pilot to assist physicians in helping accelerate the process of evidence-based medical decision making, says IBM. As part of a multi-year contract, the VHA will also work with Watson for a clinical focus supporting veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). IBM is also setting up a Clinical Reasoning System at the department’s data center in Austin, Texas.

According to the VA’s National Center for PTSD, there are approximately 21.6 million veterans in the United States. As many as 20 percent of veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF) are impacted with PTSD. Additionally, 12 percent of Gulf War veterans and 15 percent of Vietnam veterans suffer from PTSD.

With the amount of medical data doubling every three years and the size and complexity associated with patient data in Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Watson will be studied to see how it can help VHA clinicians quickly make sense of an overwhelming amount of data. Watson will make it possible for VHA physicians to interact with medical data in natural language, process millions of pages of patient information and medical literature to uncover patterns and insights, and learn from each interaction, according to IBM.

[Image courtesy: IBM]

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