10 IBM Watson-Powered Apps That Are Changing Our World

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ORIGINAL: CIO
Nov 6, 2014
By IBM 

 

IBM is investing $1 billion in its IBM Watson Group with the aim of creating an ecosystem of startups and businesses building cognitive computing applications with Watson. Here are 10 examples that are making an impact.
IBM considers Watson to represent a new era of computing — a step forward to cognitive computing, where apps and systems interact with humans via natural language and help us augment our own understanding of the world with big data insights.
Big Blue isn’t playing small ball with that claim. It has opened a new IBM Watson Global Headquarters in the heart of New York City’s Silicon Alley and is investing $1 billion into the Watson Group, focusing on development and research as well as bringing cloud-delivered cognitive applications and services to the market. That includes $100 million available for venture investments to support IBM’s ecosystem of start-ups and businesses building cognitive apps with Watson.
Here are 10 examples of Watson-powered cognitive apps that are already starting to shake things up.
USAA and Watson Help Military Members Transition to Civilian Life
USAA, a financial services firm dedicated to those who serve or have served in the military, has turned to IBM’s Watson Engagement Advisor in a pilot program to help military men and women transition to civilian life.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 155,000 active military members transition to civilian life each year. This process can raise many questions, like “Can I be in the reserve and collect veteran’s compensation benefits?” or “How do I make the most of the Post-9/11 GI Bill?” Watson has analyzed and understands more than 3,000 documents on topics exclusive to military transitions, allowing members to ask it questions and receive answers specific to their needs.

LifeLearn Sofie is an intelligent treatment support tool for veterinarians of all backgrounds and levels of experience. Sofie is powered by IBM WatsonTM, the world’s leading cognitive computing system. She can understand and process natural language, enabling interactions that are more aligned with how humans think and interact.

Implement Watson
Dive deeper into subjects. Find insights where no one ever thought to look before. From Healthcare to Retail, there’s an IBM Watson Solution that’s right for your enterprise.

Healthcare

Helping doctors identify treatment options
The challenge
According to one expert, only 20 percent of the knowledge physicians use to diagnose and treat patients today is evidence based. Which means that one in five diagnoses is incorrect or incomplete.

And consider that the amount of medical information available is doubling every five years and that much of this data is unstructured. Physicians simply don’t have time to read every journal that can help them keep up to date with the latest advances. Given the growing complexity of medical decision making, how can healthcare providers address these problems?
Solution
Watson has the potential to transform healthcare research, how medical students learn and how payments are processed.
Physicians can use Watson to assist in diagnosing and treating patients by having it analyze large amounts of unstructured text and develop hypotheses based on that analysis.
First, the physician might describe symptoms and other related factors to the system. Watson can then identify the key pieces of information and mine the patient’s data to find relevant facts about family history, current medications and other existing conditions. It combines this information with current findings from tests, and then forms and tests hypotheses by examining a variety of data sources—treatment guidelines, electronic medical record data and doctors’ and nurses’ notes, as well as peer-reviewed research and clinical studies. From here, Watson can provide potential treatment options and its confidence rating for each suggestion.
Watson at Work
Healthcare and business professionals share their perspectives on the promise of Watson’s transformative technology, and its ability to completely change how patients interact with caregivers and consumers with brands.
Healthcare Industry Taps Into the Power of Watson
Healthcare professionals talk about Watson’s cognitive capabilities and how it is allowing them to personalize patient care in a way that’s never been possible before.
Watch the video to learn more
Memorial Sloan Kettering
Memorial Sloan Kettering 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
Watson at Wellpoint, Inc.
Health benefits company Wellpoint saw an opportunity to apply IBM Watson in a way that could improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare decisions.
Watson at MD Anderson
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston uses Watson’s cognitive computing power to help clinicians uncover insights from its patient and research information.
WatsonPaths
In collaboration with Cleveland Clinic, IBM Research is developing a cognitive computing tool designed to help physicians and medical students make more informed and accurate decisions faster and to cull new insights from electronic medical records (EMR).


Finance


The challenge
The challenges the financial services industry faces are complex. Regulatory measures, as well as social and governmental pressure for financial institutions to be more inclusive, have increased. And customers the industry serves are more empowered, demanding and sophisticated than ever before.
In addition, with so much financial information generated each day, it’s difficult to properly harness the right information to act upon.
The solutions? Deeper client engagement and a better understanding of risk profiles and the operating environment.
The Solution
Major financial institutions are already working with Watson to infuse additional intelligence into their business processes. Watson is tackling data-intensive challenges across the financial services sector, including banking, financial planning and investing.
DBS Bank’s relationship managers advise their wealth-management clients by analyzing large volumes of such complex data as research reports, product information, and customer profiles. DBS will apply Watson Engagement Advisor to analyze the relationship managers’ growing corpus of investment knowledge, identify connections to customers’ needs, offer better advice and determine customers’ best financial options.
Watch how Watson will enable DBS to transform customer experience and shape the future of banking


Watson can transform
Customer experiences via cost-effective, personalized advice, increasing customer satisfaction and attracting new capital. Watson is already starting to be used in customer service and as a wealth advisor.
Financial analysis and make analysts more productive and insightful through the vast amount of information it analyzes. Watson can also answer open-ended questions asked by users based on the data it has consumed.
Risk management and compliance by evaluating all cases against approved policies and guidelines and by understanding the complexities of risk exposure.

Retail


Helping retailers transform customer relationships

The challenge
Disruption is everywhere in retail today. Customers, empowered by mobile devices and social networks that give them readier access to more information than ever before, have high expectations for service and satisfaction. And while today’s top retailers use Big Data to keep up with those expectations, their bigger challenge is efficiently and effectively analyzing this growing mountain of data for the insights that give them a competitive advantage.
With the power of IBM Watson’s cognitive computing, retailers can transform their business and re-imagine everything about the way they connect, transact, and engage with consumers.
Solution
Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities of analyzing massive amounts of unstructured data can help retailers reinvent their decision-making processes around pricing and purchasing. Today, a retailer using Watson can find insights in the data that might have escaped their notice, rather than relying on gut instinct.
Further, Watson’s unique ability to understand and answer questions in natural language makes it a cost-effective and scalable tool for analyzing and responding precisely to social sentiment, such as social interactions, blogs and customer reviews. And like a human being, Watson learns from experience and improves with feedback.
Watson can help draw insights from reams of unstructured information to help deliver a better experience. When a retailer understands its customers’ needs in greater detail, it can offer those customers more personalized and more satisfying experiences, increasing loyalty and conversions.
Watson can transform
The shopping experience by providing immediate access to new forms of data to help consumers become more informed.
Merchandising and supply networks by diagnosing business issues that drive better decisions around product and pricing.
Sales operations by empowering associates with new information in real time to create more engagement and efficiency.

Public Sector

Helping government help its citizens
The challenge
For local, regional and national government, the exponential rise of Big Data presents an enormous dilemma.
Today’s citizens are more informed and empowered than ever, and that means they have high expectations for the value of the public sector serving them. And government organizations can now gather enormous volumes of unstructured, unverified data that could serve their citizens—but only if that data can be analyzed efficiently and effectively.
IBM Watson’s cognitive computing may help make sense of this data deluge, speeding governments’ decision-making processes and helping public employees focus on innovation and discovery.
Solution
Cognitive computing can help improve the service of the public sector in several ways, improving on slow and manual decision-making processes by employing such capabilities as decision-management, predictive and content analytics, planning, discovery, information integration and data management.
And Watson learns like a human. As it refines its own knowledge from its findings in vast sets of data and its interactions with the employees using it, it helps public employees improve process and policy.
Watson helps deliver personal service to citizens navigating complex processes. From these interactions, Watson learns the priorities of the public and helps inform policies that serve those interests. And with threats to security an ongoing problem, Watson can uncover patterns of activity that can help an agency interpret and address abnormal usage that may suggest an emerging problem.
Watson can transform
Citizens’ experience by providing cost-effective personalized advice that builds community engagement.
Policy and performance by helping employees deliver better service and make optimal decisions.
Public security by helping analysts and investigators discover the most relevant information.

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