Healthcare Data-Crunching: Connecting IBM's Watson to Email

On Monday, health-benefits provider WellPoint announced that the IBM supercomputer most famous for beating two “Jeopardy!” champions earlier this year would start aiding doctors in diagnosing patients. Physicians would consult with Watson’s database in treating patients because it can “rapidly process information and provide the right answers,” according to Sam Nussbaum, chief medical officer of WellPoint.

What might be most exciting about this is how the technology can allow humans (in this case, doctors) to do their jobs better. If doctors get quicker access to the most up-to-date information, then they should be able to make informed decisions more quickly. This would then potentially give them more time to observe each individual patient or a larger total number of patients.

Watson for Opt-in Email Newsletters
A fascinating parallel lies in the realm of email databases. The same basic technology—predictive analytics—is used to sort large quantities of data for trends.

With proper tracking codes and sophisticated software, you can determine what segments of your email database respond to at any given stage in their relationship with you. Knowing these tendencies allows you to determine the right time to push for an engagement—or just to share information. It’s like having the power of Watson available for growing your own hospital, private practice, substance abuse center or mental health treatment facility.

Read more about how predictive analytics can help your healthcare institution or view Fathom’s Amy Marshall and Lindsey Grant presenting their popular webinar on healthcare and social media.


Photo courtesy of Steve Jurvetson via Flickr.

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