IBM’s courtship with Watson goes on. The tech behemoth has announced a great deal; it will purchase Merge Healthcare by $1 billion. Merge Healthcare is the supplier of medical imaging gear. It plans to integrate this into Watson franchise to boost the vision of Watson.
Healthcare sites in the U.S., which are more than 7,500, use technologies by Merge.
Now the Merge’s technologies will be blended with Watson Health Cloud mix to produce new understanding, patient-focused historical as well as current previews, health records that will be electronic, other medical data and data from other wearable equipments, in an environment enabled with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
To bolster health initiative by Watson, IBM has already taken over companies like Explorys and Phytel and announced a major health partner for Watson, CVS.
According to IBM researchers, approx. 90% of the total medical data now-a-days happens to be in the form of images.
So far, Watson primarily has kept its focus on comprehending language processing in a natural way, either it’s in a voice form or it’s in a form of writing, and it has been performing quite well at it. IBM has recently been busy with carrying experiments with Watson for grasping the videos and the images.
This new takeover by IBM is done to specifically show its new competence and to enhance new research and learning skills in the fields of radiology diagnostics.
The main initiative behind the Watson Health is to provide new data driven system for healthcare, the one, in which a medical professional can combine with Watson to amend the entire experience of healthcare system.
The amount of knowledge a professional in medical field has to deal with is mind boggling. Records of medical can be 100s or 1000 pages long, which makes it almost impassable for a human to go through it and comprehend the data through it easily.
The increasing complexity of medical imaging makes even a professional technician have trouble processing it and understanding how it might link into current medical research and patient’s history of medicine.
Watson will support medical professionals to interpret and go through images that are complex. It will make imaging and scanning machines incredibly great, which will result in generation of dense and sometimes images in motion. Doctors seem extremely overwhelmed by this news.
Watson will help in automatically detecting diseases and take considerate measurements and understand the disease. There should be no concern regarding machines taking medical decisions. It is more like humans and machines working out together to interpret and understand the complexity of information, another marvel of artificial intelligence!
It will take us a step further in advanced computer technology that is getting smarter and faster, and use it for a faster diagnostic procedure.
Merge Healthcare is yet not a fully done contract. It is still subjected to administrative, shareholder approval. Once it is done with this hurdle, it will close later in this year.