Rob Merkel: Top 40 Healthcare Transformers
IBM Watson Group, Healthcare & life sciences leader
Even devoted Jeopardy fans still can't wrap their brains around the idea that IBM's Watson is, like, you know, a brain. "It's called cognitive computing, and the brain is the best analogy," Merkel says. "As you combine it with what is happening in the healthcare ecosystem— the evolution of care-delivery models, an explosion of information-based data science, this migration to consumerism—we're able to offer game-changing analytical insights." It starts with Watson's knowledge. The volume of medical literature doubles between every two and five years, depending on which study one believes. So with 700,000 new scientific studies published each year, there is no way a sole individual can keep up. Ah, but Watson can.
One current area of focus is consumer engagement. "When Watson receives a request from a physician, it can read through an entire patient case, understand the rationale and compare it to medical policies and compliance and go ahead and approve the request without any human intervention if its confidence is 'very high,' " Merkel explains.