IBM Watson Health to drive patient-centered care


The one common denominator that will bring into focus all future visions on what retail pharmacy will look like 10 years from now is secure connectivity and big data. Successfully managing health at scale will be predicated on efficient population management algorithms that enable caregivers to successfully intercept patients before a health event occurs.

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One of the companies that has been assembling the building blocks necessary to support those visions is IBM Watson Health. “Our role is to serve as a catalyst, be an enabler and convene an ecosystem — thinking about leveraging data and knowledge to generate insights to power an ecosystem of solutions,” said Kathy McGroddy, VP partnerships and solutions at IBM Watson Health.

Toward that end, IBM Watson has developed its Health Cloud to drive health insights and analytics in managing a massive amount of health datapoints. “Ten years out, I hope to see a health system that is much more about the individual,” McGroddy told Drug Store News. “We’ve facilitated the opportunity for the individual not just to have access, but to be so engaged in their own health and wellness that they are playing a stronger role in controlling their data [and] the data sharing.”

The role of the primary care physician is going to change, McGroddy said. “We’ve been working on a number of things with CVS Health on adherence,” she said. “What we’ve recognized is this [retail pharmacy] connection point is really important.” To capitalize on that connection point, IBM Watson Health and CVS Health are collaborating on enabling communications between care providers, such as a pharmacist and a family doctor, to close any potential gap in care. “The idea is how do we start to close that circle and build that connection between the retail pharmacy and the provider,” McGroddy said.

In addition to partners like CVS Health, IBM Watson Health has been connecting to other health stakeholders, such as Johnson & Johnson and UnderArmour “With those two partners in particular, we’re actually building some custom [programs],” McGroddy said.

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