IBM Speaker to address new Royal College task force examining technology
in health care
OTTAWA, Nov. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Computers like IBM's Watson will drastically change how future physicians' currently make diagnoses
and recommend treatments, says an international expert addressing a new
Royal College task force examining how health care can best take
advantage of today's technological innovations.
Made famous on Jeopardy!, Watson is a cognitive computing system with the ability to understand
natural language, learn from millions of pages of journals rapidly and
hypothesize possible medical diagnoses and treatments. Jeffrey Betts,
the head of IBM's Chronic Disease Management and Personalized
Healthcare activities, will discuss its health care potential as the
inaugural speaker at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of
Canada's Innovation and Technology Task Force.
"Watson can never replace the expertise, intelligence and experience of
a Royal College specialist physician," says Betts. "But it can make
sure your physician has the latest information synthesized and
available at their fingertips."
One of the problems that doctors currently face is the speed of new
information being made available in their field of expertise. Over a
million articles were abstracted in PubMed last year, noted Betts. Cognitive computers such as IBM's Watson will
enable a physician to analyze the breadth of research and the latest
information to help make the best possible diagnosis for their patient.
The question of how to incorporate emerging technologies like Watson
into health care delivery and teaching is something that the Royal
College would like to answer. On Wednesday, November 6, 2013, the Royal
College will officially launch its Task Force on Innovation and
Technology, which will explore how the medical system can best employ
available, cost-effective technologies that improve Canadian health
"To practice effectively now and into the future, we need to have a
better understanding of technology trends, and how to leverage them
into the health system," said task force co-chair Susan Brien, MD,
FRCSC, Royal College director of research, innovation and scholarship.
"Health care innovations can play a huge role in enhancing patient
communication and information, access to care, education and new
practices and tools."
A key function of the Royal College's task force will be to work with
industry players in medical innovation and technology, to learn about
research and development trends and make suggestions on areas of
critical need for specialist physicians.
"The role of the Innovation and Technology Task Force is to improve
Canadian health care by supporting specialists in practice with
innovative technologies," says Dave Perfetti, the Royal College's chief
information officer and task force co-chair. "It's important that we
ensure that new technology is incorporated into medical practice and
teaching without jeopardizing patient safety. We want to know how and
to what degree technologies with implications for medicine should be
For further information:
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons' Innovation and Technology
Task Force meets on November 6 and 7, 2013 in (Fairmont Hotel,
Vancouver). Jeffrey Betts will be the keynote speaker at 8 p.m. on
November 6, at a dinner held (Fairmont Hotel, Vancouver). The task
force meets all day Thursday.
About the Royal College
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (http://www.royalcollege.ca) is the home of specialty care in Canada, setting the setting the
standards for postgraduate medical education, supporting the continuing
professional development of 44,000 members, and shaping health system
SOURCE: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
For further information:
Sandy Shearman, Communications Manager
613-730-8177 ext 464, firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about IBM's Watson contact Leslie Plant, IBM External Communications