CVS Health, IBM plot Watson deployment

CVS and IBM are teaming up to use Watson to better treat chronic diseases.

CVS Health and IBM said they are partnering to use the Watson cognitive computing system to better manage chronic disease treatment.

The companies on Thursday outlined a partnership where CVS Health will use Watson to allow practitioners to tap health information, medical records, pharmacy, claims and other data from fitness devices to track progress and goals.

CVS is best known for its drug stores and pharmacies, but also has health clinics and the Caremark pharmacy benefit management unit.

According to IBM, CVS and Big Blue will collaborate on a joint Watson Health system that's optimized to treat hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. The Watson system will focus on predicting people at risk for declining health, encourage healthy behavior and suggesting cost-effective treatment.

On the back-end, CVS will use IBM's Watson Health Cloud and analytics systems and merge it with its own data from its pharmacy and medication data.

IBM has aimed Watson at the healthcare industry and has recently acquired Phytel, Explorys, and Curam to build out its patient treatment capabilities.