IBM Watson Health debuts cloud solutions for value-based care

Cognitive computing will herald in a new “golden age” of healthcare, IBM CEO Ginni Rometti said at HIMSS17.

  • IBM Watson Health unveiled a new series of value-based cloud solutions aimed at helping providers, health plans and employers better manage their healthcare costs and quality.
  • The solutions — debuted at HIMSS17 in Orlando, FL—will integrate patient-level data from electronic health records and other sources to enhance understanding of different patient populations, risk factors and red flags at the individual, group and population level.
  • Watson Health also announced an agreement with Atrius Health to develop a cloud-based service to improve the doctor-patient experience.

The shift to value-based care and reimbursement models is forcing hospitals, payers and employers to rethink the way they manage risk in patient populations and come up with new approaches to improve quality while reducing costs. However, CMS’ new Quality Payment Program lacks needed IT infrastructure for collecting the data allowed by MACRA, which implemented the program, a recent HHS report concluded. But IBM is not the only company hoping to provide helpful solutions for value-based care. Earlier this month, Epic said it will incorporate care management content into its electronic health records (EHRs) and Health Catalyst deployed a new software tool that can be used to identify and align quality measure selection.

The value-based solutions set combines capabilities of Watson Care Manager, Truven Health Analytics, Phytel and Explorys. Initial applications, to be rolled out later this year, will focus on provider performance, patient engagement, bundled payments forecasting and management and custom analytics. Under the agreement with Atrius Health, Watson Cognitive Insights will combined the various influences on an individual’s health, including behavioral determinants, to improve primary care physicians’ effectiveness and efficiency and the quality and safety of ambulatory care. Among other things, the IBM solution could summarize key cognitive insights about a patient’s health status, assemble a de-identified cohort of similar patients and predict how those people might respond to various treatment options, according to the company.   

During her keynote address at HIMSS17, IBM CEO Ginni Rometti talked of a new “golden age” in healthcare, thanks to cognitive computing, digitalhealth reports. Yet the industry must work to ease concerns about transparency, privacy of personal health information and artificial intelligence replacing highly skilled healthcare workers, she said. Rometti urged companies to invest in scalable — rather than piecemeal — solutions and to support an open platform, noting that will allow users to combine data being generated with their own insights.

via IBM Watson Health debuts cloud solutions for value-based care


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