CVS Health and IBM have come together to use IBM Watson’s predictive analytics and cognitive computing to stop patients suffering from a chronic illness from having a medical emergency in the future. The supercomputer will use powerful algorithms and analyze data from medical health records, fitness devices, drug prescriptions, and other things to warn health officials of potential problems before it gets to that point.
Under this partnership between the two companies, they’ll develop a platform that CVS Health will use internally to tailor health advice pharmacists give to their customers. CVS has been yet to figure out what their first application will be, however, they’ll mainly focus on diseases like hypertension, obesity, heart diseases and diabetes. The alliance may also bring out a mobile app in the future that will connect patients directly to the service.
With wearable fitness devices blooming, the average person is predicted to generate more than 1 million gigabytes of health data. IBM is collaborating with Johnson & Johnson, Apple and Medtronic to use its supercomputer to scrape together insights on people’s health and the effectiveness of medications. Recently, the software company also purchased health data companies Explorys and Phytel to explore predictive analytics and learn more about consumer behavior and how it impacts their health.
IBM Watson Adds Patient Care
By combining health data from multifarious sources, the personalized care service will improve health outcomes, and cut down the cost of health care.
“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. That can help our pharmacy benefit management clients improve member health and manage costs.”
-CVS chief health officer Troyen A. Brennan in a statement
People using the service will have a greater opportunity to improve their health before it’s too late.
CVS Health owns 7,700 retail stores, along with 1,000 walk-in clinics, as well as a pharmacy program with over 70 million participants, which possibly hints that the Watson Health service could end up being used by millions of Americans. The unique tryst could revolutionize the roles of retail clinic practitioners, doctors, and pharmacists. A routine trip to the pharmacy could involve consulting with Watson about your health and alerting your doctor that the medicine you’re taking isn’t working well. IBM will take all the necessary steps involved for protecting consumer data. Moreover, people can also participate in the initiative by contributing anonymous data to the project if they wish to.
The one-of-a-kind partnership with the health care company is IBM’s biggest move into the mass market health care for IBM Watson. Previous initiatives have largely centered on cancer diagnosis and clinical trials.