IBM supercomputers leading the charge to healthcare advancements
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IBM supercomputers leading the charge to healthcare advancements

As technology becomes more advanced, many IT firms are devising ways to use these solutions to improve people's lives. One arena in which emerging technologies continually play a key role is healthcare, and IBM has been leading the charge with some of its most innovative supercomputers. 

Dr. Watson
Since its debut to the masses as the device that took down reigning Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, the Watson supercomputer has branched out far beyond trivia. IBM has been working to implement the technology's cognitive computing abilities to drive improvements across a range of industries, but the medical field has stood out as a particularly good fit for Watson-related solutions. According to WXXI News, Steve Gold, vice president for IBM's Watson Solutions division, has said that the amount of available medical knowledge doubles every five years, making it a distinct challenge for any physician to keep up with the latest trends on his or her own. The source reported that at a recent symposium at the University of Rochester, Gold explained that this problem could be solved with Watson's help, as the supercomputer can quickly assess and interpret large stores of medical data, dramatically reducing the amount of time it takes for new therapies to be readied for the market.

Additionally, Gold emphasized that with the help of Watson, it may be possible to enable more affordable healthcare. He proposed that cognitive technologies may be the secret to offering highly tailored medical care at a more affordable cost, which would result in better patient outcomes. Hospitals would also benefit from the support, as Watson would fuel accuracy in diagnosis, reducing the amount of mistakes and re-admissions in the process.

Innovation Trail noted that the power of supercomputers is also being leveraged to provide significant benefits to patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The news outlet said that SUNY Buffalo is using such machines to develop insights into how environmental and hereditary factors play into the impact MS has on sufferers with the ultimate goal that this knowledge can improve treatment of the disease. Because of the supercomputer's superior ability to work with large data sets, it's possible to do research that was previously impractical. The source reported that Shawn Dolly, a vice president at IBM, explained that it can be challenging to get all the data need into one place, which would prevent effective research from taking place.

"Previously, some of our analysis would run for several days," said Murali Ramanathan, a researcher at SUNY Buffalo, according to the news provider. "But by using the supercomputer we were able to do the same calculations in a matter of minutes."

IBM's innovative technologies continue to have a measurable impact on the world of healthcare. As insights are gleaned thanks to supercomputers like Watson, medical care providers will be able to offer their patients a higher quality of life. With intelligent IT planning, hospitals can incorporate the best solutions to achieve the strongest results.