CVS Health and IBM say they’ve formed a partnership designed to better predict deteriorating health of the pharmacy giant’s customers through predictive analytics.
IBM’s Watson, the computer giant’s artificial intelligence system, hopes to bring better care coordination and more personalized care to CVS customers and employer clients. The effort will better identify patients who may be at risk for bad health outcomes, the companies say.
Predictive analytics and IBM Watson’s “cognitive computing” are part of an evolving and growing trend in the health care industry. Several Health insurance companies including UnitedHealth Group and its Optum business, Aetna and its Healthagen division, Anthem (ANTM) and others already using them to some degree as they manage populations of patients to improve outcomes and keep people healthy and out of the hospital.
Through better technology, health care companies are trying to provide doctors with fast and simple access to health information via electronic medical records and claims data from pharmacies and insurers. It’s also an important development as the health care industry shifts from fee-for-service medicine to value-based reimbursement that bases doctor and hospital pay on outcomes and the health of the patient.
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CVS said IBM’s Watson Health technology can work to predict a patient’s declining health so doctors, pharmacists and other providers can use that information to be more proactive in coming up with a program to improve care and keep people healthy and engaged. CVS said it would use the platform in aiding patients who use its pharmacies or Minute Clinic brand retail clinics as well as offering it to employer clients of CVS’ Caremark pharmacy benefit management business.
“This collaboration enables us to learn about how other sources of health information could help predict declining health or the need for an intervention for a patient with a chronic condition,” said Dr. Troyen Brennan, chief medical officer at CVS Health. “For example, we can learn if information about a patient’s activity levels from a tracker like a FitBit could help us identify their risk for declining health.”
By: Bruce Japsen, Contributor, Forbes
Originally published at www.forbes.com