IBM Inc.'s artificial intelligence-based Watson for Oncology was concordant with more than 50 percent of doctors' recommendations, a South Korean medical center said Tuesday.
Watson for Oncology is designed to assist doctors in making more informed treatment decisions by analyzing a patient's medical information against a vast array of data and expertise to provide evidence-based treatment options.
Gachon University Gil Medical Center in Incheon, a port city just west of Seoul, employed Watson last December for the first time in the world to help doctors diagnose cancer.
Four other hospitals in South Korea have since embraced the system as a cancer diagnostic tool.
Watson achieved a 55.9 percent concordance with a total of 118 rectal cancer cases in the past year, the hospital said. The concordance rate is higher than the rate of 48.9 percent achieved at a foreign hospital between January 2009 and December 2016.
"The fact that the concordance rate improved means that doctors are increasingly having more trust in Watson's abilities," said Baek Jung-heum, a surgeon from Gachon University Gil Medical Center.
Hearing diverse opinions from multiple oncologists is an important part of a patient's treatment, Baek said, adding that using Watson will help patients receive improved treatment at low cost.
A total of 153 rectal cancer patients received a second opinion from Watson, as did 145 breast cancer 145 patients and 101 gastric cancer sufferers. Only five cases of prostate cancer and one case bladder cancer were analyzed by Watson.
"Prostate cancer and bladder cancer are the latest adds to Watson for Oncology and treatment was only available very recently," said Lee Eon, a hospital official.
The hospital said 94 percent of the patients were satisfied with receiving second and third opinions from Watson. (Yonhap)