IBM ramps health care research efforts

IBM plans to hire "dozens" of physicians along with nurses, clinicians and others to collaborate with its scientists.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

IBM on Thursday launched a $100 million initiative to focus its research division on health care breakthroughs and new technologies. It also plans to hire “dozens” of physicians along with nurses, clinicians and others to collaborate with its scientists.

The $100 million investment will be delivered over three years and look to meld IBM’s systems, services, cloud computing, analytics and new markets such as nanomedicine with real-world patient care. Big Blue’s nine research labs as well as other outposts will focus on health care along with governments, businesses and universities.

As for focus, IBM said it will focus on three key areas:

  • Using raw health data to prove treatment approaches and then deliver personalized care. Specifically, IBM is talking about analyzing the data from advanced diagnostics from things like lab tests and EKGs to better to detect problems and intervene as needed.
  • Incentives to shift the healthcare system to one that rewards outcomes instead of volume of care. IBM is talking about business processes changes for the health care industry as well as new payment models.
  • Privacy and security of patient data.

To kick off the healthcare push, IBM said it has formed three research collaboration ventures. Those efforts include:

Working with Europe’s Hypergenes consortium to find the genetic variations that lead to hypertension and the organ damage that follows.

Building an evidence-based clinical care system with China’s Peking University People’s Hospital to focus on disease management and best practices. The system—dubbed evidence-based patient centric collaborative care (ePC3)—aims to cut medical errors, improve efficiency and improve patient care via electronic health records. The Peking hospital will consolidate 7 to 8 internal systems into ePC3.

Collaborating with the National Account Service Company to process claims and evolve benefit plans as conditions warrant.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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