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AI Case Study

Rhön-Klinikum AG attempted to accelerate diagnosis of rare diseases using cognitive computing but has since moved on to different projects

In 2016, Rhön-Klinikum AG group of hospitals entered into a partnership with IBM Watson to use its cognitive computing capabilities to assist in the diagnosis of rare diseases. The project was piloted at Undiagnosed and Rare Diseases Centre in the University Hospital Marburg. Though results are not published the project was discontinued recently.



Healthcare Providers And Services

Project Overview

"Doctors at the Undiagnosed and Rare Diseases Centre in the University Hospital Marburg will use Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities as a diagnostic tool to improve the time from diagnosis to treatment for hundreds of rare-disease patients annually.

Watson’s cognitive technology will process the vast amounts of data that doctors usually have to sift through. Sometimes, the smallest detail can lead to a diagnosis and Watson will be a diagnostic assistant to help doctors solve the case.

To make it work, patients fill out extensive questionnaires to give Watson a view of their medical history that might reveal potential exposure to diseases. They ask about their childhood, even investigating what pets they had, because even the tiniest clue can lead to a diagnosis.

As the pilot progresses, the University Hospital team hopes Watson may also help them spot diseases that are entirely new to medicine and Watson will be on the case using Cognitive Computing to help researchers find answers."

Reported Results

According to bibliomedmanager, Rhön Klinikum decided last autumn to rely on other AI projects.



R And D

Core Research And Development


"Doctors who diagnose rare diseases face a tough challenge. They comb through volumes of data in search of insights that will help cure their patients. Finding the answer can take days, sometimes weeks. In terms of the magnitude of the problem, an estimated 400m people worldwide suffer from one of 8000 rare diseases."



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