IBM Watson expands Health Cloud, improves wireless device integration

Sept. 10, 2015

IBM has announced the IBM Watson Care Manager as part of a larger move into the cloud.

IBM Watson Care Manager brings together Phytel’s patient engagement tools, Apple HealthKit, and Apple ResearchKit, and integrates all of the above into the Watson platform, enabling care providers and patients to work together to support individual health.

The new offering is designed to integrate disparate types of clinical and individual data and apply cognitive analysis to draw out insights for nurses, physicians assistants and other care managers so they can closely monitor and counsel individuals with complex, costly conditions.

For example, a patient with chronic heart failure may receive a personalized care plan that includes tracking weight daily and monitoring physical activity. Currently, how patients report such data and how care managers evaluate and act on that data has largely been a manual process.

“With the flexible workflow tools and automated patient engagement functionality, we’re able to build evidence-based programs that support our care management team in delivering care to our patients,” says Juie LaPrade, Vice President of Quality, inHealth – a consortium that has curated technology-driven solutions in support of optimal patient outcomes. “This is proving to be enormously valuable in our work in accountable care and population health.”

With IBM Watson Care Manager, a patient can opt-in to have data collected from wireless-enabled scales, wearable devices, other types of sensors, and from assessments delivered to the patient’s device, such as an Apple Watch. Care managers receive insights derived from cognitive analysis of a patient’s integrated data streams, toward the goal of enhancing engagement with the patient so potential health problems are spotted and addressed early. The data related to that individual’s case is then fed back into the IBM Watson Health Cloud, which analyzes over time which interventions correlate with positive results and applies that knowledge to future care management options.

The move comes as part of an expansion to improve the capabilities of the Watson Health Cloud platform, including a program that will help biomedical companies with compliance for new technology.

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