Watson A.I. Diagnoses Rare Form Of Leukemia In Japan, Saving A Life

The first life saved by Watson in Japan

FabulousSomeGazelle

The future of medicine looks increasingly robotic. Robot surgeons are slowly proving their place in operating theaters, and artificial intelligence is finding its place in crunching health data in research, diagnosis, and treatment.

And that future is already coming to fruition. IBM’s Watson has diagnosed and recommended a successful treatment for a rare form of leukemia—one that physicians had previously misdiagnosed—doctors from The University of Tokyo’s Institute of Medical Science told the Indo-Asian News Wire.

The patient had originally been treated for acute myeloid leukemia, according to NHK. Watson compared the patient’s medical data against 20 million clinical oncological studies, and within 10 minutes had made the correct diagnosis of a different form of leukemia—confirmed by a successful new drug regimen. The patient’s new diagnoses has not been disclosed.

Watson is IBM’s push into mainstream artificial intelligence. The company has made a huge investment into health, acquiring companies like Truven Health Analytics and Merge Healthcare for their medical data to train Watson’s algorithms, but also tout Watson’s ability to understand underlying emotion in text, image classification, and speech recognition.

We’ve reached out to IBM Watson’s Health team and will update with more information.