IBM Expands US Federal Healthcare Practice

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 clouddelivered solutions such as:

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 atrisk patients with an 85 percent accuracy rate. Many of these patients might benefit from targeted preventive care.

IBM’s healthcare team includes more than 300 federal healthcare consultants and dozens of medical doctors and healthcare professionals who are focused on care systems transformation. This broad team supports IBM’s Federal Healthcare Practice, which is led by Vice President Giovanna Patterson.

Today, IBM announced that it has added Keith Salzman, M.D., to the team as Chief Medical Information Officer for IBM Federal. Dr. Salzman brings more than two decades of experience in delivering quality care to patients and driving the use of medical informatics within the U.S. Department of Defense military health system located at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington. Earlier this year, Dr. Salzman received the 2013 Physician IT Leadership Award from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, a global network of health IT professionals.

IBM’s massive Research arm has committed to bringing researchers in the fields of data management and cognitive computing to work with federal clients in healthcare to develop innovative new solutions to promote greater value in the Federal health system. IBM holds more than 600 healthcare-related patents in its research portfolio.

IBM and Healthcare:
IBM works with hospitals, health systems and life sciences companies to create smarter, more connected healthcare systems. IBM’s technologies and consulting services help organizations deliver better care with fewer mistakes, predict and prevent diseases, speed up medical discovery and empower people to make better choices.  Big Data innovations such as IBM Watson and “stream” computing” are being used to improve patient outcomes for more personalized and patient-centric care.

IBM has a 75 year history of working with clinicians, researchers and public health organizations to help improve patient care. In 1961, IBM created the first electronic health record system at Akron Children’s Hospital, built on IBM’s Ramac 305. Recently, IBM has partnered with a range of health care organizations to apply Watson in ways that are helping transform how medicine is practiced, paid for and taught. For example, IBM is co-developing an application with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, AND partnering with WellPoint, WellPoint, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University.

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