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IBM Expands US Federal Healthcare Practice

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IBM Expands US Federal Healthcare Practice

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new investments in its US Federal Healthcare Practice to address the rapidly growing technology needs of public sector health institutions. The company added big data solutions for advanced clinical care from its IBM Watson Group, new collaborations with IBM Research focused on data management and an expansion of the team with the naming of a Chief Medical Information Officer for IBM's US Federal practice.

Improving health outcomes, controlling costs, and achieving a value-based, affordable and sustainable healthcare system have become economic and social imperatives for governments around the world. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the US Federal Government is expected to spend $13.95 trillion on major healthcare related operations and programs through 2024.  To address rising rates of chronic disease and reduce spending, health systems today face greater expectations for improved health outcomes and higher quality care.

"IBM has a proven track record in delivering transformational, value-based healthcare solutions that can increase the quality of care and lower costs in both the public and private sector," said Anne Altman, General Manager, IBM US Federal. "Government leaders recognize that there is a tremendous opportunity to combine new and existing data sources with advancements in technology to find innovative ways to build a sustainable and affordable healthcare system."

As part of today's expansion, IBM will make big data and cognitive computing solutions available to federal healthcare clients to help aggregate and analyze clinical information to improve care and reduce costs. These include IBM Watson Group's cloud-delivered solutions such as:

  • IBM Watson Engagement Advisor to transform interactions and experiences with patients
  • IBM Watson Discovery Advisor to uncover insights into diseases and innovative therapies, and speed medical research
  • IBM Watson Explorer designed to consolidate and visualize information and help users uncover and share data-driven insights more easily.

Also, IBM Advanced Care Insights is now available to support healthcare providers with new insights from clinical, social and behavioral data. The solution bundle utilizes IBM Content Analytics and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to extract valuable insight from physician notes, lab results and other narrative content within leading electronic health record (EHR) systems to transform it into actionable information.

For example, at Carilion Clinic, a Virginia health system, IBM has reviewed more than 2 million patient encounters in collaboration with Epic and Carilion Clinic. After applying the Advanced Care Insights solution to these records, they identified 8,500 patients at risk for developing congestive heart failure in a pilot project that could lead to early intervention and better care for these patients. The results were achieved through predictive modeling of data in Carilion Clinic's electronic health records, including "unstructured" data such as clinicians' notes and discharge documents that are not often analyzed. The pilot applied content analytics and predictive modeling to identify at-risk patients with an 85 percent accuracy rate. Many of these patients might benefit from targeted preventive care.

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