SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – After weeks of hopes and doubts, Gachon University’s Gil Hospital finally launched its AI-based super computer Watson for Oncology on Monday, and marked Korea’s first diagnosis of a cancer patient by a non-human expert.
Watson, developed by IBM, sweeps through data of 290 medical journals, 200 medical text books, and 1,200 pages worth of professional materials to suggest, in a matter of seconds, the course of treatment most appropriate for a patient.
The hospital said that based on the health data of Cho Tae-hyun – a 61-year-old stage three colorectal cancer patient who underwent laparoscopic surgery – Watson suggested that Cho needed chemotherapy using FOLFOX and Cape-Ox drugs, the same treatment that Cho’s human medical team agreed on.
“We inputted a wide range of information, from DNA tests and biopsy results to his age, and the fact that he underwent a radical surgery to remove the tumor and the adjacent lymph nodes,” said Cho’s doctor, Dr. Baek Jeong-heum. “Watson advised that he needs chemotherapy to prevent a relapse of the disease and remove any remaining cancer cells, which was perfectly in line with the opinions of the staff.”
Baek added that the drugs suggested by Watson – regarded as among the most effective ones in medical circles – also coincided with human judgement.
“The general consensus of the team is that Watson provides a high-level medical service with great accuracy,” he said. “Most patients will feel that it provides a trustworthy medical service.”
As to the diagnosis by an artificial intelligence, the patient, Cho, expressed deep confidence as well.
“I’ve come across more than a few stories about Watson on TV and in newspapers,” he said. “I have strong confidence as the treatment method was determined not only by Watson’s suggestion, but also from doctors with multidisciplinary approaches. I feel well already.”
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)