WellPoint Inc, the U.S. health insurer, and IBM have agreed to use IBM's Watson technology to help physicians identify best treatment options.

The collaboration will be introduced next year and will be initially used by nurses who review treatment requests from doctors and others and manage involved patient cases.

WellPoint said it is planning to use Watson's data-crunching to help suggest treatment options and diagnoses to doctors. This is part of a general trend for incorporating computer-influenced supervision into care. This will ensure that doctors and hospitals who adopt electronic medical records and other digital tools will be capable of recording, tracking and checking their work.

It is hoped that the technology will help improve the quality of patient care and help reduce costs.

IBM says the Watson technology is capable of processing about 200 million pages of content in less than three seconds. When it comes to reviewing various medical literatures, this feature will make the system promising. Excerpts of the data sources behind the particular suggestions that the Watson technology will be offering will be displayed by the WellPoint system.

The reliance of the doctors upon information provided online for satisfying the demands for right information at the right time at the right place has increased recently. They are depending upon primary sources which are published evidences like the databases of journals and bibliographies.

They will also depend upon the secondary sources for methodological review and guidelines in clinical practices. Efficiency of  interaction among doctors and information source will be important in selecting electronic information products to be used in the hospital.

The products selected should be such that they will require only a minimum amount of skill for refining the queries entered as well as diminish the quantity of irrelevant information.

Publishers will be finding ways for creating effective information products for supporting the decisions of the doctors. As of now several superior products are available.

Other products are geared toward improving the doctor-patient relationship.