The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is teaming up with IBM to pilot a study to harness electronic health records to help physicians care for patients. The program will use IBM's Watson technology to study innovative approaches to search EHRs and medical literature for relevant studies in order to quickly collect, combine and present information to help physicians make clinical decisions more quickly and free up their time to spend more of it with patients.
"Physicians can save valuable time finding the right information needed to care for their patients with this sophisticated and advanced technology," Interim Under Secretary for Health Carolyn M. Clancy said in a statement. "A tool that can help a clinician quickly collect, combine, and present information will allow them to spend more time listening and interacting with the Veteran. This directly supports the patient-centric medicine VA is committed to delivering every day."
During the pilot, clinical decisions will not be made on actual patient encounters but on "realistic simulations." Announcement