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Watson Health: Transforming care with data, ‘cognitive insights’


Today’s health system is saddled with stark challenges, including runaway costs, exploding demand for services and huge gaps in the quality of care and in the sharing of patient records, treatment options, health risk factors and other data. Meeting those challenges will require all health and wellness stakeholders — including retailers — to build a data-driven “ecosystem” that engages patients and gives doctors, pharmacists, clinicians and health plan payers the cognitive tools they need to make better decisions, said Kathy McGroddy-Goetz, VP of partnerships and solutions at IBM Watson Health.

(Click here to download the full Retail Health Summit special report.)

This recently launched IBM subsidiary has set an ambitious agenda. “Our vision is to improve and save lives around the world, and reduce the cost of health care through the power of cognitive insights,” McGroddy-Goetz told the panel on retail health and technology. “So we’re working to develop both the technology and business platform to convene a healthcare ecosystem ... to transform the industry.”

Watson Health will leverage IBM’s powerful data-gathering and processing capabilities to “bring together individual, clinical, research and social data from a diverse range of health sources, creating a secure cloud-based, data-sharing hub, powered by one of the most advanced cognitive and analytic technologies.”

With the population aging rapidly and millions of boomers thrust into the role of caregiver, the need to advance decision-making and connectivity within this ecosystem is critical, McGroddy-Goetz said. For health retailers, she added, “it’s about ... trying to leverage all these different kinds of data and knowledge sources to drive insights” about the needs and behavior of seniors and their caregivers.

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