Remember the attention IBM received when they put their supercomputer up against previous Jeopardy winners and it beat them severely. Well it appears the supercomputer nicknamed Watson has found a new job with a major health insurance company, WellPoint.
Taking test results, medical history and all other information about the patient, the computer can make a diagnosis and treatment plan in approximately 3 seconds. Supposedly, this will be only another tool to help make decisions. I think it could be a good tool and talking to a computer might be an improvement on some doctors bedside manner.
However, dig a little deeper and you find there is also a plan for the computer to take into consideration the patient’s financial situation. Remember this is a for profit health insurance company that will be using this machine. So does anyone think for a second that a treatment plan for someone who is homeless versus someone who is financially well off will be the same?
This reminds me of a time when they said machines and computers will never replace humans on assembly lines or in manufacturing.