The health and data link
As pharmacists embrace efficiency and chains make moves to engage patients digitally artificial intelligence and predictive analytics continue to make steady inroads. Technology experts assert that healthcare providers can improve outcomes by better utilizing data provided by EHRs, insurance claims and even fitness monitoring. Advocates believe that such tools as IBM Watson Health Cloud, which uses data from multiple sources, can improve outcomes for patients with chronic conditions.
The potential for improving population health has spawned some creative alliances between pharmacy chains and data analytics sources. CVS Health, for instance, is more than two years into a partnership with Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM to help chronic disease sufferers through the deep mining and analysis of their health records. And Walgreens made its Balance Rewards card program available to Menlo Park, Calif.-based MedM’s Health Cloud users.
A data-driven approach also was behind a collaboration between Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group’s OptumRx and Walgreens. The partnership included goals of leveraging Optum’s massive data repository and improving the companies’ ability to “communicate health data and analytics to ensure members receive the most effective prescription drugs at the right cost.”