Watson to train with Cleveland Clinic med students

Cleveland Clinic and IBM are collaborating to advance the use of Watson in medical training. The IBM team of researchers that created Watson will work with Cleveland Clinic clinicians, faculty and medical students to enhance the capabilities of Watson’s Deep Question Answering technology for the area of medicine.

Watson's capability to analyze the meaning and context of human language and quickly process information should help find answers hidden amongst the vast quantity of collected healthcare data.

Watson has been gaining knowledge in the field of medicine and interacting with medical students should help expand its knowledge. Since medical students can no longer be expected to memorize everything contained in text books and medical journals, they must establish new ways to use available information to diagnosis and treat patients.

This process of considering multiple medical factors and discovering and evidencing solution paths in large volumes of data reflects the core capabilities of the Watson technology, according to IBM. Medical students will interact with Watson on challenging cases as part of a problem-based learning curriculum and in hypothetical clinical simulations. A collaborative learning and training tool utilizing the Watson technology will be available to medical students to assist in their education to learn the process of navigating the latest content, suggesting and considering a variety of hypotheses and finding key evidence to support potential answers, diagnoses and possible treatment options.  

Students will help improve Watson’s language and domain analysis capabilities by judging the evidence it provides and analyzing its answers within the domain of medicine. Through engagement with this education tool and Watson, medical students and Watson will benefit from each other’s strengths and expertise to both learn and improve their collaborative performance. The collaboration also will focus on leveraging Watson to process an EHR based on a deep semantic understanding of the content within an EHR. 

Over time, the expectation is that Watson will get “smarter” about medical language and how to assemble good chains of evidence from available content. Students will learn how to focus on critical thinking skills and how to best leverage informational tools like Watson in helping them learn how to diagnose and treat patients.