The IBM Supercomputer Watson can process an astonishing 500 gigabytes per second, the information equivalent of about one million books.
Scientists and oncologists are putting this enormous processing power to work in order to better tailor treatments for patients with cancer.
The New York Genome Center has partnered with IBM with a view towards tackling the problem that oncologists currently face: Namely, they have to bring together a wealth of information about things like genome sequencing along with the most up-to-date information from clinical trials and use all of that to find the right treatment plan for each patient.
The truth is that this is simply not possible for one doctor to do for one patient.
Watson offers possibility of personalized treatment
But where clinicians fall short, Watson can come through. With the oversight of an oncologist, Watson can help a doctor bring DNA-based treatment options to his or her patients.
Put more specifically, the combination of NYGC’s genomic and clinical expertise coupled with the power of Watson will lead to broader development and refinement of the Watson tool along with the shared goal of helping doctors provide effective, successful, and personalized cancer care to their patients.
Robert Darnell, president and scientific director of the NYGC, believes that the sky is the limit with this project.
"Applying the cognitive computing power of Watson is going to revolutionize genomics," he says, "and accelerate the opportunity to improve outcomes for patients with deadly diseases by providing personalized treatment."
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