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Here’s how often IBM’s Watson agrees with doctors on the best way to treat cancer

October 15, 2019

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We’re starting to get a better picture of how artificial intelligence could help doctors better treat cancer.

And in data presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, IBM Watson Health gave a snapshot of how it’s playing out so far.

The studies looked at concordance rates, or how often Watson for Oncology reached the same course of treatment as the cancer doctors at different cancer centers around the world. At Manipal Comprehensive Cancer Center in India, for 112 cases of lung cancer, there was 96.4% concordance between Watson and the doctors. For 126 cases of colon cancer it was 81% of the time, and for 124 cases of rectal cancer cases were 92.7%.

The concordance was in line with what IBM expected in those cases: If Watson and the docs agreed all the time, there wouldn’t be much value for adding AI to the picture.

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