A new partnership was signed between CVS Health and IBM, a deal designed to predict how the health of the pharmacy’s customers might deteriorate using predictive analytics.
The partnership hopes to use Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence system, in improving care management and offer more personalized care to CVS employees and customers. The companies explain the initiative aims at gaining a clearer perspective on the patients’ risk of developing health problems.
Health care industry has met with predictive analytics before, and Watson’s cognitive computing is just joining the evolving trend, advancing the applications of the technology in this field.
To some degree or another, various health insurance companies – such as UnitedHealth Group, Aetna and Healthagen – are already using artificial intelligence to handle large populations of patients, mostly in their goal of improving health outcomes and keeping people out of the hospital.
By offering more advanced technology, health care companies are helping doctors gain faster access to health data. All this is made possible thanks to electronic medical records and data collected from insurers and pharmacies.
At the same time, this development is welcomed in the health care industry as it transitions from fee-for-service medicine to a reimbursement that pays hospitals and doctors based on the outcome and the health of the patient.
The technology used in the CVS and Watson Health program is designed to predict if a patient’s health is declining. More than that, it offers information that’s vital for pharmacists, doctors, and other care providers who can become more proactive in improve that patient’s care and making sure they don’t end up in hospital.
CVS explained the platform will be used especially for the benefit of the patients who use its pharmacies or retail clinics working under the umbrella of Minute Clinic.
Dr. Troyen Brennan, senior medical officer at CVS Health, said the collaboration allows the company to find out how multiple sources of health care data could work together and predict if a patient’s health is worsening or if patients with chronic conditions are in need of an intervention.
Brennan added that all kinds of health and fitness devices could be connected to the database and the CVS could find out a patient’s levels sent from a tracker like a FitBit might need extra care; at the same time, risk of declining health would be easier to identify.
For IBM, this partnership follows several others that intend to integrate Watson into the healthcare system. The IBM Watson Health Cloud is already collaborating with Apple, Medtronic, and Johnson & Johnson.
Image Source: Nature