Remember IBM's Watson technology that played Jeopardy? It's now playing doctor. Picture it: You're wearing a hospital gown, your nurse is fumbling with a clipboard and Watson is telling you that you're fine, you just have a minor sinus infection. Well, maybe that's not exactly the way the future will be, but IBM has found its first client to bring in IBM's Watson in conjunction with the "IBM Content and Predictive Analytics for Healthcare." Intrigued? Paranoid? Read on …

Here's how IBM sums up its partnership with Seton Healthcare Family:
By combining IBM's Watson technology with industry solutions offerings, Seton intends to focus the new content and predictive analytics solution on the root causes of hospital readmissions, and ways it can decrease preventable multiple hospital visits.
Seton Healthcare Family plans on using the Watson technology to leverage natural language to mine through tons of medical information, and "go far beyond traditional search and analysis of unstructured data," connecting previously unconnected information or helping doctors detect medical trends that would normally take long hours of paperwork to determine. According to IBM, if a business already is using IBM’s Health Integration Framework solutions, dropping in Watson is an easy add-on.

If you want to deploy Watson in a facility, you'll need one of IBM's Power Systems. If Watson's technology catches on, it could be a good time to be an IBM systems integrator. For the rest of us, this could serve as an uncomfortable confirmation (at least for some of us) that talking to computers is a future that's not too far off, especially when you add in Apple's Siri personal assistant and Avaya's Aurix audio mining technology.