IBM's Watson, Centura Health create mobile heart health tool

Health optimization company Welltok, IBM's Watson and Denver-based Centura Health are debuting an app that provides heart health advice as well as exercise and nutrition information.

The CafeWell Concierge virtual coach app, developed by Welltok, taps Watson's artificial intelligence technology to help 6,000 heart failure and cardiac rehab patients, according to a Denver Business Journal report.

The tool, which can be used on a mobile device or a PC, provides physician-recommended activities and food intake advice, and the ability to track both efforts, as part of a patient's daily living routine.

"Quality of care should improve, costs should be reduced and the patient is even more empowered to be in control of their health," Jon Gardner, vice president of Centura Health Heart and Vascular Network, tells the Journal. "Putting it where the patient is, instead of where we are, will have great benefit."

In addition to providing specific, personalized advice, Centura hopes the app will help reduce hospital re-admissions and decrease healthcare and insurance costs in the long run. The app is also able to integrate data from a patient's fitness device, such as a pedometer.

The CafeWell Concierge app follows another IBM announcement about an mHealth initiative involving iPads that will help 5 million seniors in Japan better manage health and wellness. That initiative is Big Blue's latest collaboration with Apple, resulting from a partnership the two tech giants forged in 2014 to advance enterprise and consumer adoption of mobile devices and apps. In early April, as FierceMobileHealthcare reported, IBM and Apple debuted four new healthcare software tools aimed at helping nurses in patient care and management tasks

The CafeWell Concierge app can answer patient questions such as whether ingredients in a certain food are heart healthy and how long a walk they need to be taking every day, according to the Journal. Centura Health expects to offer the app to more cardiac patients as well as patients dealing with other medical issues, the article says.

For more information:
- read the Denver Business Journal article
- read the announcement