Myles Braithwaite

The medical domain doubles in knowledge every few years,” said Janet Dillione, executive vice president and general manager of the health-care division of Nuance. “No human brain can possibly retain all the information that’s out there.”

Dillione says that while other health-care technology can work with huge pools of data, Watson is the first system capable of usefully harnessing the vast amounts of medical information that exists in the form of natural language text—medical papers, records, and notes. Nuance hopes to roll out the first commercial system based on Watson technology within two years, although it has not said how sophisticated this system will be.

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