IBM today announced the expansion of its Health Analytics Solution Center. Located in Dallas, the center is adding new technology and has doubled the number of healthcare solution architects and technology specialists working at the center. Teams there are working to help physicians connect smart phones, tablets and other devices to electronic medical records (EMRs) while also helping healthcare providers build new solutions for remote patient monitoring.
As part of this expansion, the Analytics Solutions Center is incorporating some of the same technology used in IBM’s Watson, the experimental computer system that defeated the two best human contestants in the game show Jeopardy! earlier this year. Using sophisticated analytics to understand the meaning and context of medical information, advanced health analytics is increasingly being used to help healthcare organizations gain new insight from the explosion of health data growing at a rate of 35 percent per year, according to a recent study by Enterprise Strategy Group.
Connecting Physicians, Smart Phones and Medical Records for new insight
Today, more than 27 percent of specialists and primary care physicians use a tablet PC or similar device. As clinicians adopt smart devices at five times the rate of the general population, they will increasingly need to connect to EMRs for instant access to patient records in their office, during hospital rounds, or on call.
This growing use of mobile devices however creates new challenges. Updating medical records, entering notes and accessing information on small devices with tiny keys can be challenging. Physicians may choose to interact using their phone via text, voice or a combination of both.
Using clinical voice recognition from Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) and medical terminology management from Health Language, Inc., IBM is working to improve the mobile EMR experience through voice recognition and technology that provides understanding of medical text, similar to the way Watson analyzed hundreds of millions of pages of text from books, encyclopedias and periodicals to compete on Jeopardy!. This will allow caregivers to derive more insight from medical notes, exams and pathology reports that now can be evaluated and compared electronically.
By using analytics to determine hidden meaning buried in medical records, pathology reports, images and comparative data, computers can extract relevant patient data and present it to physicians, ultimately leading to improved patient care.