An extensive audit shows that IBM’s innovative cancer treatment system, Watson, has had mixed results in various hospitals in which it has been used. According to the published results of the recently concluded audit, the new system has received positive reviews in various hospitals across different states in the country.
In one instance, hospitals in the state of Texas are said to have praised the system, with one hospital in Jupiter, Florida, in particular, indicating that it was prepared to start using the new system.
At the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, the IBM project received positive reviews for its performance in transforming the manner in which hospital handles its cancer patients.
According to Rob Merkel, the VP for Oncology and Genomics at IBM Watson Health, the Watson project has been instrumental in transforming how hospitals match their cancer patients to particular tests during clinical trials.
And the IBM executive was all praises for the system, saying that it showed IBM’s commitment towards helping hospitals deliver superior and effective treatments to their patients.
‘We are excited to learn that Watson is helping hospitals perform better in their core functions, he said.
He added that regardless of the shortcomings of the system that were pointed out in the audit report, IBM Watson had largely done a credible job as indicated in its success stories.
According to the audit report, the IBM Watson project failed at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston.
It is alleged that the doctors at the facility contributed to the gross failure of the project by refusing to follow the basic procedures that their IT experts insisted on.
The report further indicates that the management at the facility cannot account for about $62 million funding for the project.
The project was meant to help improve the manner in which the doctors at the facility diagnose and manage cancer patients.
However, at the end, as the report indicates, the facility was forced to abandon the project after its management asked for fresh bids from IBM competitors.
It has been reported that the failure of the partnership between IBM and MD Watson may as well be blamed on the senior management at the cancer treatment facility. The two directors at the facility, Dr Ronald DePinho and Dr Lynda Chin are a couple who have been involved in a myriad of controversies over the recent past.
It is not clear whether the couple played a direct role in mismanaging the funds meant for the project. However, the audit reports strongly criticises the top management at the hospital for ignoring its IT department during the implementation phase of the project.