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IBM's Watson set to tackle health insurance, takes 'Diagnosis for $1,000'

Billy Steele
09.12.11
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After tackling your tech support woes, the famed Watson is moving on to mop up the health insurance industry. That's right, the IBM showstopper we all know and love for trouncing trivia kings on Jeopardy has been hired by one of the largest health insurance company's in the US. WellPoint Inc. will make use of the system's breakneck speed and healthcare database alongside patient records -- allowing the supercomputer to guide treatment options and prescribe medicines. Once implemented, data will be combined from three sources in a matter of seconds: a patient's chart / records from a doctor, the insurance company's patient history and the medical knowledge that Watson already possesses. A pilot program will roll out next year to a number of cancer facilities, academic medical centers and oncology practices. No word yet on when The Watson School of Medicine will start accepting applications.

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