Tokyo, Japan – Doctors at the University of Tokyo recently leveraged Watson to help with a particularly challenging medical case. A 60-year-old woman’s illness had stumped doctors and led to incorrect diagnoses for months. Once Watson got its digital hands on her case, it was able to correctly diagnose her rare form of leukemia in just 10 minutes. It arrived at the proper diagnosis by comparing her genetic changes to information in its database of tens of millions of cancer research papers. While Watson and AI are far from proving human doctors obsolete, putting such a powerful research tool in the hands of the human healthcare professionals tasked with saving lives everyday will prove to be a game-changer. For more information on Watson’s forays into medicine see: https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/07/ibms-watson-ai-saved-a-woman-from-leukemia/#comments and http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/ibms-watson-ai-saves-womans-life-after-diagnosing-rare-form-of-leukaemia_uk_57a849ade4b04ca9b5d381ef.

Why This Matters –

Watson’s life-saving diagnosis wouldn’t have been possible without a huge database of relevant medical research. As diagnosing and choosing treatments move from being the work of humans to that of the future Watsons of the world, pharmaceutical, biologic, and medical device companies will learn firsthand the importance of helping fill these databases with as much evidence as possible to support their products. The brands that best integrate strong digital support around efficacy, safety, and cost/access should have a substantial leg up with the digital clinicians of our not-too-distant future.

About the Author:

Drew Beck brings more than a decade of broad healthcare experience to GSW in his role as the Director of Innovation. He has enjoyed working for big healthcare names including Eli Lilly & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline in Global Marketing and Pharmaceutical Sales roles, but his start came from hands-on work in patient care in Emergency Medicine. This foundation has given him a deep understanding of both patients and healthcare professionals. In his current role, he combines all he has learned from this background with insights into current market trends to help clients drive the future of their brands.