Martha González, Director of Watson Health for IBM Mexico

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help doctors amplify their expertise and offer solutions, according to Martha González, Director of Watson Health for IBM Mexico at Mexico Health Summit 2017 on Thursday at the Hotel Sheraton Maria Isabel in Mexico City.

“We need to take advantage of all the knowledge that is produced,” said González, explaining that IBM develops AI with the intention of amplifying the world of professionals and their expertise. “AI is not a substitute for human expertise,” she said.

One of the main challenges that González noted in providing healthcare is that half of treatments offered to patients for the first time are wrong. She explained that doctors would need to study 29 hours per day to be completely up-to-date on the latest treatments in their field. “They are missing around 80 percent of the knowledge generated daily.”

Although a great deal of information is generated on a daily basis, it must be used effectively.   González explained that the same amount of information is generated by using a tracker to exercise once than in the entire life of someone from a previous generation. “We need to transform data into intelligence and make smarter decisions,” she said.

González said that cognitive learning enables AI to make use of natural language and that it is constantly learning, capable of ingesting information, identifying the aim of a conversation and proposing a solution. “People interacting with AI need no technical expertise, only the expertise on the required topic,” she added.

She also discussed Watson Oncology, launched in 2011, which is an AI system based on physicians’ knowledge. Since its foundation, Watson Oncology has read over 600,000 articles, 28,000 patient files, at a speed of 15 million pages per second. “The system offers doctors a treatment recommendation based on the patient’s characteristics. This solution does not replace the doctor. It also suggests a solution that should not be given, and it can show the doctor the evidence and reasons why it made those conclusions.”

 

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