WellPoint moves forward with development of Watson technology

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 9, 2012

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WellPoint has tapped the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles to help develop its commercial launch of IBM's Watson technology.

Watson is the supercomputer that in February 2011 beat the two best contestants to play the game show "Jeopardy!" After the victory, IBM announced that it will take Watson into health care. In September 2011, insurance giant WellPoint announced that it will partner with IBM to develop the first commercial version of the Watson technology and focus on oncology first.

Physicians and researchers at Cedars-Sinai will assist WellPoint in creating a product that can be used by physicians to treat patients. "The task at hand is to identify data elements and data sources which would create a knowledge base within Watson to allow it to assist [physician] decision-making," said M. William Audeh, MD, medical director at the Samuel Oschin center, who is leading the organization's involvement in the project.

WellPoint plans to deploy its first offering of the system later this year in a pilot program with physician groups.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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