CVS, IBM collaborate to improve care management

CVS Health and IBM have teamed up to combine predictive analytics and Watson technology to improve care management services for patients suffering from chronic disease.

With Watson's cognitive computing capabilities, it can digest vast amounts of information and continuously learn, enabling healthcare practitioners to quickly gain insights from a mix of health information sources such as electronic health records, pharmacy and medical claims information, environmental factors, and personal fitness devices, according to an IBM announcement.

The Watson technology will help CVS Health employees provide guidance to patients and work with primary care doctors to treat patients dealing with chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

The collaboration also uses IBM Watson Health Cloud, which gathers information such as nutrition, medical history and lifestyle to present a personalized look at health. IBM already partners with Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic to provide access to this data, according to USA Today.

The technology will be used at CVS at the beginning of 2016.

A year ago, CVS Caremark and IBM announced they were committing $1.5 million to the "Technology Solutions for Smarter Health" grant program in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers. The grants would support the use of innovative technology in community health centers to boost patient engagement.

In addition, IBM, electronic health record vendor Epic and the Mayo Clinic previously announced plans to apply cognitive computing capabilities to EHRs, and IBM announced plans to collaborate with 14 cancer institutes across the country to create more personalized treatments for patients.

The key to creating personalized care is patient data that can be collected and analyzed--and connected technology is greatly increasing the ability to do so, Adriana Karaboutis, executive vice president of technology at Biogen, told those attending the InformationWeek Conference at Interop.

To learn more:
- read the IBM announcement
- check out the USA Today story
- here's the previous IBM/CVS announcement

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