Potential IBM Watson Health Sale Puts Focus on Data Challenges - (The Wall Street Journal via NewsPoints Desk)

  • IBM's decision to explore a sale of its Watson Health business highlights the challenges of building data sets that unlock the full value of artificial intelligence (AI) in solving healthcare problems, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

  • A company spokeswoman said that IBM Watson Health is committed to leading the market in healthcare data sets, and that it offers databases that include "real-world, longitudinal clinical, operation and financial data and analytic tools."

  • Bob Kocher, a partner at venture-capital firm Venrock, said that "we're many years away from AI products that really positively impact clinical care for many patients."

  • Since the data used to train an AI model is imperfect, the tool will fall short of expectations, he added.

  • Stephen Messer, co-founder of Collective[i], an AI company focused on optimising the sales process in a range of markets, noted that a new owner of Watson Health should look at different ways it could leverage an increased healthcare data pool, and then apply new technologies such as neural nets.

  • As more companies determine how to pool sets of health data to create even more scale, the application of deep learning to healthcare may continue to develop, Messer added.

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