AI: How IBM Watson Answers the Toughest Questions Facing Healthcare

My guest today is Chaitanya Dahagam. He is a Healthcare Technologist and Global Partner Innovation Executive at IBM Watson Health. He studied medicine at University of Alabama, he was a General Surgery Resident at the University of Texas, and then did what a lot of medically trained people are doing: he went into business. He’s going to tell us all about AI and IBM Watson Health, some of the projects and organizations they are working with, and importantly, how you can find out more and become a partner with Watson Health.

How AI is Transforming Healthcare

“AI” is a technology and buzzword that is being applied to nearly every industry. As data sets explode, the race is on to find ways to turn the piles of data into meaningful and actionable knowledge. AI holds the key to unlocking the insights that can detect, prevent and cure disease, and IBM is determined to being the locksmith.

As IBM Watson evolves from ‘gameshow celebrity' to ‘healthcare expert', there are clear ways that it can be applied to help solve the toughest challenges faced by health providers – but there are also clear ways where it won't be applied. Tune in to Chaitanya Dahagam as he provides insights into how IBM Watson is being used and the potential it has for future developments.

Today’s Topics:

  • The difference between ‘Augmented Intelligence' and ‘Artificial Intelligence'
  • How IBM Watson uses APIs and data sets
  • The role of AI in clinical decision support versus decision making
  • How to engage in IBM Watson programs for corporates and startups
  • How healthcare professionals can change the practice of healthcare from the outside

Lightning Round Answers

Q: What’s a favorite quote or saying that motivates you?

A: “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” and “Proactively prevent regret.”

Q: What advice do you have for other innovators who are working to make a difference in health?

A: Never feel like you’re trapped. Sometimes you do have to leave healthcare as a practitioner to fix what ails it. If you can’t get to an outcome that you want to get to, figure out the best way to pivot to change the system perhaps from the outside.

Q: What book do you recommend to listeners and why?

A: The Digital Doctor – By Robert Wachter (Author)

Q: What technology, tool or app would you recommend, and why?

A: A whiteboard with at least 6 markers of different colors!

Q: If I gave you $5million to invest in healthcare today, where would you invest it?

A: Cognitive computing, taking data sets to build a solution that can deliver personalized and contextually relevant health and wellness guidance to patients, clinical decision support to providers, to get enhanced insights for employers, insurers and educators.

Q: We will be making a financial donation to a charity of your choice. What charity have you selected?

A: Medicins Sans Frontiers


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Dan Kendall

Dan Kendall


As an engineer and business leader, I've worked to develop, launch and scale innovative products and solutions that impact health and wellness. As an entrepreneur, I know firsthand what it takes to start a business, build a team, and compete in the global marketplace.

On Digital Health Today, I leverage my experiences to help great leaders and innovators tell their stories and connect to users, investors and other stakeholders.

Connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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