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Hospital bed with patient. Watson in background

Jefferson hospital has launched a program with IBM to create cognitive hospital rooms powered by IBM Watson Internet of Things. Dr. Stephen Klasko is President and CEO at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Steve and I both went to Lehigh University and also University of South Florida. We served together on the advisory board of Lehigh’s College of Engineering. Steve is a a gynecologist by training. He is also a pilot, tech savvy executive, and a visionary healthcare leader. He wants the Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals’ three facilities, with more than 900 acute care beds, to take advantage of the latest technology, including the use of cognitive computing to make things easier for patients.

The simple one word definition of cognitive is thinking. Humans have always had cognitive capability, but now computers and even smartphones are gaining it too. The Jefferson hospitals will have speakers and microphones in patient rooms which are connected to the IBM Watson IoT Platform that taps an IBM Watson supercomputer. The cognitive computing and natural language capabilities can interpret a question from the patient and provide answers. Think of it like Alexa or Siri in the hospital. A patient can ask “When can my brother visit me on Tuesday?” or “Tell me about my doctor”. Patients might also ask Watson to “Play waterfall music”,  or “Turn down the room temperature”. They might ask Watson to “Remind me to get up and walk every four hours”. The system could also facilitate an intelligent conversation such as a survey or preparation for a physician visit. Getting real time feedback from patients can lead to better patient satisfaction, which hospitals are not measured on. I am sure the hospital hopes patients will find their stay more comfortable and enjoyable.

Read more about Watson in Health Attitude.

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