CVS harnessing IBM’s Watson to improve patient care

August 4, 2015

CVS Health is partnering with IBM to document and analyze patient behaviors so that pharmacists and other healthcare professionals can better manage chronic illnesses.

CVS Health is partnering with IBM to document and analyze patient behaviors so that pharmacists and other healthcare professionals can better manage chronic illnesses.

CVS will use the supercomputer IBM Watson to analyze data from the retail chain’s patient clinical records, claims data, and fitness devices.

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The data will be combined with the latest medical research to offer healthcare professionals best practices for treating chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

"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 healthcare providers such as pharmacists, nurse practitioners at MinuteClinics or connected healthcare providers, and that can help our pharmacy benefit management clients, improve member health and manage cost," said Dr. Troyen Brennan, CVS Health's chief medical officer.

According to IBM, 86% of the $2.9 trillion the United States spends annually on healthcare is related to chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

Closely scrutinizing patient behaviors may help healthcare professionals prevent some patients from developing these conditions. "CVS pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and other health providers will be able to proactively treat the whole patient, when and where they need," IBM said.

 

IBM said the partnership will benefit all patients and healthcare providers because the patient insights gathered will help develop best practices.

"A highly scalable and secure global information platform is essential to pull out individualized insights to help people and providers make timely, evidence-based decisions about health-related issues," IBM said.