IBM and Anthem announced a new agreement that will extend IBM’s work providing operational services for Anthem’s mainframe and data center server and storage infrastructure.
IBM has been working with Anthem since 2015 on the payer’s technology infrastructure of AI, bots and predictive technologies. IBM has implemented more than 130 bots and automates more than 70% of Anthem’s monthly high-volume repetitive tasks.
The new agreement includes IBM working with Anthem to create an AI environment to allow for an increasingly automated infrastructure that provides 24/7 digital capabilities. The companies said this work will deliver higher value and access to Anthem’s consumers, providers and employees.
Lori Steele, global managing director of IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences, told Healthcare Dive the agreement will help Anthem improve the consumer experience. IBM will do that by “transforming the infrastructure environment to enable the digital transformation.”
“As we’ve been expanding our work with Anthem, we’ve now focused on how we use automation, AI and new capabilities to make the whole digital environment much more high-performing and also enable them to do the things they need to do to strengthen their consumer applications and capabilities that they’re building,” Steele said.
The back-end work includes helping the payer manage infrastructure, such as its help desk. That includes using bots and AI to create a more reliable infrastructure environment. “We can anticipate problems based on what we see trending in terms of the calls and we’re using AI for that to be able to avoid calls into their help desk and call centers,” Steele said.
IBM uses Watson for predictability and AI, such as spotting an impending capacity issue at the call center. Watson, however, has seen troubles recently that raise doubts about its capability.
Moving Anthem to a more on-demand environment by using predictive technologies allows for needed flexibility. The work includes making sure core platform are digitized, innovative and moved to cloud technology to enable IBM and Anthem to launch new capabilities, Steele said.
“It’s developing new capabilities to better interact, but also helping them manage their cost as they’re able to drive value to the consumer,” Steele said.
Steele added that the new agreement will build upon the companies’ previous work. “We’re trying to accelerate more use of AI in more interactions rather than just at the automation layer and predictive layer. We’re beginning to use as well in the actual interactions,” Steele said.