Mobile healthcare, telemedicine, telehealth, BYOD


Could a Population Health System Improve Patient Engagement?

By Vera Gruessner

- Patient engagement remains a stronghold on the healthcare industry, as it is thought to lead to better health outcomes due to greater education and knowledge on the part of the patient. By adhering to medications and treatments while also ensuring that physical activity, nutrition, and overall wellness goals are achieved, health outcomes will likely be improved with ongoing patient engagement initiatives across healthcare organizations.

Population Health Management

IBM Watson Health is one company that is using a population health solution kit as a means toward enhancing patient engagement initiatives, according to a company press release. Last week, IBM Watson Health announced the launch of a population health program with the expansion of the IBM Watson Health Cloud.

“IBM is dedicated to developing market leading, industry-specific cloud offerings that meet each sectors’ unique needs,” Michael Rhodin, SVP of IBM Watson Group, stated in the press release. “This newest expansion of the IBM Watson Health Cloud makes it an even more robust and flexible platform for the life sciences and healthcare industries and explains its rapid adoption among leading organizations in these fields.”

This will enable biomedical institutions to bring new products to market much more quickly and efficiently. It will also ensure that these companies stick to the regulations surrounding the sharing and access of medical data.

This population health system even allows researchers to complete certain studies by using an iPhone. The IBM Watson Health Cloud offers a completely new solution to researchers who need to study clinical trial data and preclinical studies.

Additionally, the tool can be used to develop a customized patient engagement platform that takes patients’ determinants into account in order to improve overall health outcomes.

With information technology playing a strong role in the medical field today, especially as the sheer amount of patient data continues to grow, computerized population health management systems could play an important role in bringing medical devices to market more quickly.

“Our team spends hundreds of hours on each validated deployment documenting all infrastructure details for our life sciences clients,” Benjamin Chodroff, CTO of CloudOne, an early tester of the population health management system, said in a public statement. “The list is seemingly endless in both complexity and scope. The IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance will help ensure that the infrastructure, network, and platform remains stable, consistent, and thoroughly documented with the required change controls. The amount of effort required for our own highly skilled team is reduced from weeks of deployment time into a few hours.”

Along with patient engagement initiatives, IBM partnered with CVS Health to revolutionize care management practices among patients with chronic medical conditions, according to a press release from IBM.

Predictive analytics and cognitive computing will be used to achieve these results. Clinicians and practitioners working with CVS Health would be able to move beyond current care management practices and advance their medical services.

With Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities, physicians would immediately be able to gain greater understanding and analysis of data from digital medical records, pharmacy information, fitness trackers or mobile health applications, and remote monitoring technology.

Clinicians treating a wide variety of medical conditions including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and hypertension would benefit from the use of predictive analytics and cognitive computing. Watson with the help of CVS Health will put their efforts toward using these technologies to develop effective and customized patient engagement platforms that improve medication management and physical fitness adherence.

“CVS Health and IBM are both committed to improving health and finding ways to engage individuals in their well-being through the use of information and technology,” Troyen A. Brennan, MD, EVP and Chief Medical Officer for CVS Health, said in the release. “This partnership will enable us to leverage advanced technologies and key health information to develop a tool that can be applied by a variety of health care providers such as pharmacists, nurse practitioners at MinuteClinics or connected health care providers, and that can help our pharmacy benefit management clients improve member health and manage cost.”


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