IBM’s cognitive computer Watson will be featuring in CVS locations come 2016 to offer high-quality, first-hand insight on patient behavior, health and care.
Watson is not your typical doctor, nor will we see the usual big blue super tech box that was presented by IBM. Rather, the software, based on cognitive computing will be working silently as it crunches and analyzes million of data entries to provide primary health care assistant with valuable help.
As the partnership between IBM and CVS Health was announced, it was implied that CVS’s 1,000 clinics and the impressive network of 7,600 drugstores across the U.S. will benefit from Watson’s help.
As the details of the partnership are being worked on, one thing stands out. CVS has the immense potential to reach out to an extensive network of patients whose health could be drastically improved thanks to Watson.
CVS statistics show that its approximately 70 million plan members would meet with Watson as they walk in one of the locations scattered around the country.
IBM’s Watson is designed to rapidly compute the patients’ medical records, medical claims, data stemming from other other devices, patients’ medical receipts and other relevant information regarding the patients’ health. As the process is completed, Watson passes on to deliver statistics and courses of action that could prevent risks for patients with chronic disease.
As a cognitive computer, Watson is capable of detecting certain risks and patterns that could elude physicians at first sight, and even more so pharmacists that do not typically benefit from a long-term relation with the patients walking in the CVS drugstores.
As such, the IBM-CVS Health partnership is designed to provide a trusted assistant that physicians, pharmacists and patients alike can rely on for accurate data and the potential to save lives as the super computer detects risks in a timely manner.
Looking at the financial perspective, the introduction of Watson in CVS locations could cut healthcare costs. It remains to be seen to what extent. Currently, according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service, U.S. patients diagnosed with chronic diseases represent a staggering 2.9 trillion dollars on an annual basis in healthcare costs.
“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 health care providers such as pharmacists, nurse practitioners at MinuteClinics or connected health care providers, and that can help our pharmacy benefit management clients improve member health and manage cost,”
commented Troyen A. Brennan, chief medical officer at CVS.
Proactive healthcare is what defines the joint venture. Soon, IBM’s Watson will prove how efficient it is in the healthcare sector.
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