IBM Watson Health to target brain bleeds, eye health

Dive Brief:

  • IBM Watson Health and MedyMatch are teaming up to bring the Israeli firm’s artificial intelligence-based clinical decision support solution to imaging experts in emergency rooms and acute care settings to help doctors detect intracranial bleeding due to head trauma and stroke, IBM announced Thursday.
  • Under the collaboration, IBM Watson Health’s imaging group will distribute MedyMatch’s brain bleed detection application worldwide through established vendor-neutral sales channels.
  • IBM also announced Thursday a five-year strategic alliance between IBM Watson Health and Iowa City-based IDx to advance eye health through cognitive computing applications.

Dive Insight:

Achieving true interoperability is a goal that providers and vendors across the board are struggling with as they partner on digital health solutions. But even if technologies are integrated, the lack of common standards for health data can thwart effort at data exchange, experts say.

The longer-term goal of the IBM Watson Health-MedyMatch collaboration is to have the firm's application be fully interoperable with IBM’s imaging offerings. MedyMatch’s algorithm uses deep learning, machine vision, patient data and clinical insights to help physicians target potential brain bleeds without interfering their work.

The IBM-IDx deal follows IDx’s recent inclusion in the global IBM Watson medical imaging collaborative and expands Watson Health’s focus on eye care with IDx’s server-based screening technology. The aim is to enhance value-based care for patients with diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and other serious eye conditions.

The collaborations are the latest in a wave of activity for Watson Health that include last month’s debut of new cloud solutions for value-based care and new imaging solutions aimed at advancing personalized medical care in December. Watson Health is also applying cognitive computing to improve diabetes care and prevention through a partnership with the American Diabetes Association.

But life is full of setbacks and that’s true for companies too. In February, MD Anderson Cancer Center confirmed to Forbes that it is reevaluating its partnership with IBM Watson to use cognitive computing to wipe out cancer. The decision followed a University of Texas report claiming the project cost MD Anderson more than $62 million, but failed to meet its goals, according to the Forbes article.

Filed Under: Health IT
Top image credit: IBM