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Watson aims to transform chronic healthcare

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IBM and CVS Health will use predictive analysis and Watson cognitive computing to transform care management services for patients with chronic diseases.
The partnership will enable health care practitioners, including those across the CVS Health enterprise, to use Watson to advance care management beyond programs and services typically available today.

Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities interact in natural language, read and understand vast amounts of information, and continuously learn. The offering would enable health care practitioners to quickly and easily gain insights from an unprecedented mix of health information sources such as medical health records, pharmacy and medical claims information, environmental factors, and fitness devices to help individuals stay on track with their care and meet health goals.

The joint CVS Health/IBM Watson Health solution will be optimised for use across a wide range of chronic conditions. Chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are the leading cause of death and disability in the US and represent 86% of the nation’s $2,9-trillion in annual health spending.

The resulting offering will be made available to insurers and other entities serving the employer and health plan market and will focus on:
* Helping to predict individuals at risk for declining health who may benefit from proactive, customised engagement programs;
* Encouraging patients to adopt safe and healthy behaviours, including adherence to prescribed medicines and healthy lifestyle regimens; and
* Suggesting appropriate use of cost-effective primary care and out-patient providers.

The partnership brings together IBM’s Watson Health Cloud and cognitive computing capabilities with both companies’ expertise in predictive analytics and patient engagement. CVS Health also brings strong insights into medication adherence and pharmacy care.

“CVS Health and IBM are both committed to improving health and finding ways to engage individuals in their well-being through the use of information and technology,” says Dr Troyen Brennan, executive vice-president and chief medical officer for CVS Health. “This partnership will enable us to leverage advanced technologies and key health information to develop a tool that can be applied by a variety of health care providers such as pharmacists, nurse practitioners at MinuteClinics or connected health care providers, and that can help our pharmacy benefit management clients improve member health and manage cost.”

“The capabilities of the IBM Watson Health Cloud, when coupled with CVS Health’s insights into medication utilisation and patient behaviour, could prove transformative for the industry,” says Mike Rhodin, senior vice-president for IBM Watson. “Improving care for people with chronic conditions supports IBM’s commitment to make big plays that advance the health and well-being of the global community. Through the recent acquisitions of Phytel, Explorys, and Curam we also bring extraordinary capabilities in patient engagement and population health, enabling us to deliver a powerful solution that supports individuals wherever they are, whenever they need it.”