IBM, Nuance Parnter to Make Watson Health-Care Ready

Nuance CLU speech-recognition applications will be incorporated into IBM's Watson supercomputer help doctors make diagnoses.

IBM will continue its longtime collaboration with speech-recognition software developer Nuance Communications to bring the analytics capabilities of supercomputer Watson into the health care field. Under a research agreement announced Feb. 17, Nuance will feed its CLU (Clinical Language Understanding) applications into IBM's Watson hardware.

Nuance makes the Dragon speech-recognition software.

Meanwhile, IBM will incorporate its own Deep Question Answering (QA), Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning capabilities into the supercomputer.

Combining the CLU language capabilities of Nuance in a supercomputer such as Watson could lead to the next generation of EHRs (electronic health records) and decision-support applications, according to Dr. Eliot Siegel, director of the Maryland Imaging Research Technologies Laboratory (MIRTL) at the UMD School of Medicine. "We believe that this has the potential to usher in a new era of computer-assisted personalized medicine into health care to improve diagnostic accuracy, efficiency and patient safety," Siegel said in a statement.

A commercial product will be available in 18 to 24 months, IBM and Nuance report.

Columbia University Medical Center and UMD (University of Maryland) School of Medicine will contribute medical expertise that will enable Watson to work effectively in health care.

This article was originally published on 02-18-2011
eWeek eWeek

Have the latest technology news and resources emailed to you everyday.