IBM Watson sets sights on healthcare

IBM is looking at ways of harnessing tech used in its IBM Watson supercomputer for the healthcare sector

IBM and Nuance Communications have launched a research programme to commercialise technology used in the IBM Watson supercomputer for the healthcare industry.

IBM Watson supercomputer Jeopardy

IBM's supercomputer Watson, pictured with researcher David Ferrucci, is teaming up with Nuance Communications to explore opportunities in the healthcare sector. Photo credit: IBM/

The plan for IBM and Nuance is to combine the question-and-answering tech, natural language processing and machine learning found in Watson with Nuance's speech recognition and clinical language understanding software. Watson recently defeated two human contestants on the US quiz show Jeopardy.

IBM and Nuance expect the first commercial tools from the Watson collaboration to be available in about 18 to 24 months. Columbia University Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine are also participating in the effort. Their purpose is to figure out in which area IBM Watson can be most useful to doctors.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see IBM Watson's next adventure: Healthcare with Nuance on

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