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Dr. Watson

IBM computer could make correct diagnoses more elementary

WellPoint, a health care benefits company, and IBM are teaming up to teach a computer how to help diagnose and treat patients. The computer, which goes by the name "Watson," is a celebrity of sorts; it recently defeated several champions on television's Jeopardy. But Watson still faces a long learning curve in understanding medical diagnostics. The hope is that a computer's data analysis will assist doctors in using facts, not educated opinions, to determine and improve patient care.

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Also of interest: How to protect yourself from hospital errors.

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