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Cleveland Clinic Eyes Cognitive Population Health Management

December 26, 2016

Cleveland Clinic and IBM have begun a five-year agreement to expand the Clinic’s health information technology capabilities. The Clinic and IBM aim to establish a model for a health system transition to value-based care and population health, and to uncover potential standards that could be replicated by providers nationwide. The agreement builds on a decades-long relationship between the two organizations, and reflects the parties' intention to expand the use of IBMs secured cloud, social, mobile and Watson cognitive computing technologies across clinical and administrative operations. The collaboration is also being designed to better capture the value of data and to enhance patient care across the systems’ nine regional hospitals and 18 full-service family health centers.

As the healthcare industry grows increasingly dependent on technology to deliver efficient, high-quality, and affordable care, the new technology implementation is designed to enable efficient analysis of data from electronic health records (EHR), information from administrative claims, and social determinants of health, allowing for both personalized clinical care and broader population-focused management. For example, data analysis could help predict which diabetes patients are resistant to certain treatments and whether similarities exist within a group of diabetes patients that could help medical providers better tailor patient engagement to address specific needs, such as notifying of recommended treatments or actions to take.

“This initiative with IBM is mutually beneficial and will significantly advance our IT capabilities, which are increasingly important to provide the best care to patients as healthcare becomes more and more technology dependent,”said Toby Cosgrove, M.D., CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic. “With the explosion of data in healthcare, the technology solutions we will develop and implement together could transform our ability to deliver quality, evidence-based care and better respond to the needs of our patients, caregivers and partners.”

The widespread adoption of EHRs across the U.S. has created an imperative for hospitals and health systems to apply advanced technologies, like Watson cognitive computing, to improve the quality and personalization of care while managing cost effectiveness. The collaborative relationship will allow Cleveland Clinic physicians to present clinical and administrative challenges to Watson such as mining mass amounts of data, combined with knowledge of medical literature and to train and focus Watson’s capabilities to support clinical care and administrative tasks.

“For the past five years, Cleveland Clinic has been central to IBM’s effort to build Watson’s cognitive capabilities in healthcare," said Deborah DiSanzo, general manager of IBM Watson Health. "Together, we will bring cognitive computing and an entire portfolio of IBM technology offerings to transform clinical care and administrative operations across the Cleveland Clinic, and help its renowned care providers deliver evidence-based, personalized and cognitive care to the individual patients they serve and the populations they manage.”

A longstanding and innovative relationship between IBM and Cleveland Clinic has included a variety of Watson projects including:

· 2011: After Watson won Jeopardy!, IBM and Cleveland Clinic joined forces to train the technology to “think”like a doctor.

· 2013: IBM Research initiated an ongoing collaboration with Cleveland Clinic faculty, physicians and students to develop a Watson EMR assistant to help physicians quickly summarize and cull relevant insights from electronic medical records.

· 2014: Cleveland Clinic began its pilot of Watson for Genomics to aid its research into new cancer treatments based on a patient's genetic makeup. Cleveland Clinic continues to use the technology for genomic interpretation.

· 2014: Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University announced that IBM Watson would play a significant role as a tool to help students analyze symptoms based on evidence-based insights rather than rote memorization. The cognitive technology will become a vital part of a new $515 million Health Education Campus opening in 2019.

· 2015: IBM acquired Explorys, a healthcare intelligence cloud company that has built one of the largest secured clinical data sets in the world, representing more than 50 million lives. Explorys was developed by Cleveland Clinic physicians and IT experts before becoming a “spin-off”company in 2009.

“IBM believes this technology and innovation partnership with Cleveland Clinic will result in transformational information technology strategies enabling both the Cleveland Clinic and IBM to respond to disruptive changes occurring throughout the healthcare industry,” said Philip Guido, General Manager, North America, IBM Services.

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