Watson’s Results in Healthcare

I’ve discussed Watson before, and how intuitive and game changing this technology is, but have I mentioned how life saving it can be? Watson in Pharma and life sciences is finally here, and the results are nothing short of astonishing. When using Watson in a Healthcare setting, a Physician is given choices and can confidently create the best course of treatment specific to each patient. “ Watson acts almost like a colleague who is able to gather information, prioritize it, be current in all the Medical literature and present it in a way that it is useful when meeting with a patient”  says Dr. Mark Kris of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.


Memorial Sloan Kettering has trained Watson to synthesize vast amounts of data, such as physicians’ notes and reports, lab results and clinical research, to help community physicians identify treatment options for cancer patients. This training has given the physicians at MSKCC the ability to deliver evidence based medicine through analytical approaches creating more of an understanding on how to fight Cancer as a disease.

Watson is able to analyze huge amounts of data and reduce it down to critical decision points, which then helps to form the best treatment plan choices for each individual case. This helps eliminate over testing on patients and accelerate their treatment time frame as well as personalize their overall plan.

IBM Watson has also been implemented at WellPoint where its helped UM nurses make faster decisions on treatment requests. The Utilization Management (UM) process, which governs the preapproval of healthcare insurance coverage for many medical procedures, can be extremely time consuming. Requests can take on average, 72 hours for urgent preauthorizations and 3-5 days for elective procedures. With Watson in place, responses can be received in seconds, with greater accuracy and better consistency. Wellpoint’s goals were to accelerate processing of physicians’ treatment requests, save members’ time and improve efficiencies in the approval process, while continuing to base Utilization Management decisions on medical evidence and clinical practice guidelines. With Watson’s help, they have achieved just that.


How will Watson improve your Healthcare facility? Contact us today: kmartir@metrotsg.com

What can IBM Watson do for you?

Everyone has seen or heard about IBM Watson on Jeopardy and how it is able to process information more like a human rather than a computer. IBM Watson has the amazing ability to understand natural language, generate hypotheses based on this evidence and actually LEARN as it goes. Watson is able to “learn” by being taught by its users, learning from prior interactions and by being presented with new information.  How incredible is that??

So how can Watson be applied to the real world? How can it help your company? How can it NOT is the real question! There are so many ways that Watson can help your organization more fully understand and utilize the data that you currently have to allow you to make better business decisions to accelerate your company’s success.

Just check this out –  The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs just enlisted Watson to help diagnose and  treat Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is an illness that affects more than 8.3 million veterans in the U.S and many of them go without diagnosis or proper care because of how difficult it is to detect and design a treatment plan since each patient’s causes, symptoms and results are vary.

So how is Watson going to help? Like many of Watson’s other projects, it will allow clinicians to ask natural-language questions. Watson will then be able to answer based on massive amounts of data collected and housed in its data center. For example, a doctor will ask it what has worked for other patients with similar histories, traumas and symptoms and Watson will come back with proven treatment plan suggestions.

“The kind of data that Watson will be ingesting will be hundreds of thousands of documents from VHA including medical records, research docs and medical literature that will help them assess the proper patient care,” Ann Altman, IBM General Manager for U.S. Federal and Government Agencies told Mashable.

As a cognitive system, Watson will not only use the reams of data to help provide diagnosis and treatment ideas for PTSD, it will learn and improve. “Watson will develop a corpus of knowledge specific to PTSD,” said Altman, “it will collect data [and] through that Watson will learn and grown more confident.

PTSD has been defeating our doctors and Veterans for years and now with Watson, the VA will have a chance to accelerate decision-making for primary care physicians to help diagnose and create treatment plans specific to each patient’s needs, more efficiently and faster than ever before.

This is a HUGE step for the Healthcare community, but Watson is not limited to only one industry. Check out how Watson can be used in your industry for your business needs – Here


And as always if you have any questions at all, please email us at kmartir@metrotsg.com

Super Analytics, Super Easy

Introducing IBM DB2 10.5 with BLU Acceleration

Imagine a database technology that gives you 10-20 times faster performance right out of the box, requires dramatically less storage, and nearly eliminates the need for tuning.

Too good to be true, right?    Not anymore.

BLU Acceleration is all about reducing costs and improving time-to-value by making complex analytics faster, easier, and more resource-friendly. Blu Technology has in-memory, hardware-optimized analytics, columnar processing, broader SQL support, Input/output and CPU efficiencies, and is built directly into the DB2 kernel to provide you with seamless integration. And what’s really exciting is that no tuning is required on DB2 10.5 to achieve these results.


Since BLU Acceleration is fully integrated with DB2, it does not require SQL or schema changes to implement. Just load and go. Enhancements such as automation, optimization and self-tuning help to further simplify overall use. Since this technology is exclusively built for analytic queries your business will benefit from performance that is dramatically faster then previous versions.

Business Analytics play a big role in differentiating your company from your competitors. Work faster and smarter with BLU Acceleration. Blu offers a faster, easier and significantly more affordable approach to analytics along with many other benefits.

BLU Benefits

  • Less ongoing maintenance
  • Reduce storage costs
  •  No indexes or materialized query tables (MQTs) to define or tune
  • Storage is automatically freed and returned to the system for reuse
  • Data is automatically deleted over time
  • Compression algorithms will automatically adapt to changing data patterns.
  • Easily convert tables to the column-organized format
  • Unique encoding enabling BLU to deliver actionable compression
  • Data can be used without decompressing
  • Automatic workload management when  DB2_WORKLOAD=ANALYTICS is set.
  • Maximum core utilization

This feature ensures that while any number of queries may be submitted by applications, only a controlled number are allowed to consume resources simultaneously.

BLU Acceleration also reduces storage requirements in a number of important ways.

  1. Since no secondary indexes or MQTs are needed on column-organized tables, you save storage space.
  2. BLU Acceleration exploits multiple compression techniques on each column to compress each value to just a few bits. This approach allows multiple values to fit into a machine word.

These patented techniques permit DB2 to not only store the data more efficiently, but also to better process it while it is still compressed. BLU Acceleration applies predicates, performs joins, and does grouping, all on the compressed values of column-organized tables.

You’ll have to try DB2 10.5 with BLU Acceleration to fully appreciate just how fast your queries will run, how simple it is to administer, and how small your column-organized tables can be compressed. I am confident you will be pleased with your improved time-to-value.

View the quick video here to learn more: