Forget Sherlock, Watson is going investigate your health
An artificial intelligence system, known as Watson, aims to supercompute health
IBM and CVS announced a collaboration to come up with algorithms, that use physiological indicators and red-flag behaviours, and create Watson.
Watson will then predict whose health is fine and whose may be on the decline.
The first stage of the deal will focus on patients with chronic conditions such as heart disease and obesity but after that they plan to expand.
The IBM-CVS partnership could transform the roles of pharmacist, retail clinic practitioner and primary-care doctors and specialists.
A routine trip to the drugstore could involve consulting with Watson at a kiosk about your health or having your pharmacist tell you to alert your doctor that the medicine you’re taking is not working as well as you both think.
With mobile phones everywhere and wearable fitness devices proliferating, the average person is predicted to generate more than 1 million gigabytes of health data in their lives.
IBM is working with Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and Medtronic to use Watson to glean insights about people’s health and the effectiveness of interventions.
The company also recently purchased health data companies, Explorys, which specialises in predictive analytics and Phytel, which provides insight for hospitals on groups of patients.
If CVS data is added to the mix, it may allow the companies to learn huge amounts about consumer behaviour and how it impacts their health.
One of the most frustrating things for patients can be a lack of access to their health or prescription history and the ability to share it.
This is one of the things both IBM and CVS officials have said they hope to solve.
While this isn’t one of the conditions targeted in the first stage of the deal, IBM has several partnerships with leading cancer centres to train Watson to be a cancer expert.
IBM has said it hopes to roll out the cancer adviser service to community physicians.
Image by DigitalHealth Age