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I’ll take “healthcare potpourri” for $1,000


Watson, the much- hyped IBM computing

system that competed and won against two top (hu- man) Jeopardy! players earlier this year, is now going to work for WellPoint.


NOVEMBER The 7th Annual World Healthcare Innovation

and Technology Congress, Nov. 7-8, Vienna, Va., combines payer and provider educational programming with a broad range of networking opportunities. Meet more than 400 hospital, health system, medical center, physician practice and health insurance IT decision makers.

RSNA 2011 – The 97th Scientifi c Assembly & Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, Nov. 27-Dec. 2, Chicago, is the premier scientifi c and educational forum in radiology. Come learn about the latest trends in radiologic research and “celebrate the image” along with 60,000 attendees.

Image courtesy: IBM DECEMBER

IBM and WellPoint, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, announced an agreement in Septem- ber to develop and launch Watson-based solutions “to help improve patient care through the delivery of up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare for millions of Americans.”

The system, named after IBM founder Thomas J.

Watson, was built by a team of IBM scientists to rival a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confi dence. IBM says that Watson can sift through the equivalent of 1 million books (roughly 200 million pages of data), analyze the information and provide precise responses in less than three seconds. As a WellPoint team player, Watson may help physicians identify treatment options that bal- ance the interactions of various drugs and narrow among a large group of treatment choices, enabling physicians to select the more effective treatment plans for their patients quickly. It is also expected to streamline communication between a patient’s physician and their health plan, helping to improve efficiency in clinical review of complex cases. It could even be used to direct patients to the physi- cian in their area with the best success in treating a particular illness. WellPoint anticipates employing Watson technology through clinical pilots in early 2012.


“Managing Medical Devices on IT Networks” is a special-focus Hori-

zons magazine just released for fall by the Association for the Advancement of Medi- cal Instrumentation (AAMI). The issue focuses on helping healthcare organizations and medical device manufacturers ensure that their networks and products are secure, reliable, cost effective and positioned for future success. Offerings include a diverse panel debating the challenges and opportunities

of integrating medical devices into IT networks, FDA offi cials explaining the new medical device data system (MDDS) rule, and insights on how to get devices to work safely in a world that’s rapidly going wireless. More information is available at horizons/.

4 November 2011 HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY mHealth Summit, Dec. 5-7, National Harbor,

Md., will focus on business, end-user and policy perspectives of mobile healthcare, fostering dialogue to identify cross-cutting value chains and sustainable mHealth business models.

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