“Hello, Watson here, can I help with this diabetes situation?”
A focus on technology in healthcare during US National Diabetes Month
I returned from the World of Watson 2016 conference held in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, hosted by IBM. I was quite amazed at the level of innovation and the number of entrepreneurs from both small and large organizations building useful solutions using Watson’s cognitive services to solve real problems across various industries. Watson is IBM’s cognitive computing technology platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data. I came across several interesting and innovative solutions across various industries including transportation, retail, energy and others. Innovative solutions like Watson to power Slackbot, GM OnStar to use Watson, Staples Easy Button and Watson for Oncology. I happened to be at the event specifically for the healthcare industry, given my role at IBM Watson Health, focusing on strategic partnerships.
Speaking of healthcare, the amount of relevant data about each one of us over our lifetime is staggering, that IF tapped into could have a profound impact on our health. And I am not talking about your medical history only. Consider the demographic, socio-economic, fitness or activity or social data too. A big challenge in healthcare is making sense of all the medical + exogenous data together. Rapidly changing healthcare landscape leads to the opportunity to use technology to develop solutions for hospitals, doctors, and consumers focused on health and wellness. The explosion of data, coupled with the increasing use of connected everything (called the Internet of Things), is changing the way we all can help empower patients and impact health outcomes. Watson’s cognitive technology has the ability to understand, reason and learn, and aims to provide opportunities to assist doctors to improve patient health and help care managers to find new ways to help personalize and improve patient care.
Take diabetes for example. Diabetes affects over 400 million people worldwide. If left unmanaged, it results in severe health complications and high healthcare costs. People with diabetes face daily challenges — managing their condition, knowing what to eat & when, knowing impact of food & activity on their glucose level. And speaking of diabetes, did you know that November is American Diabetes Month in the US? Throughout November, the American Diabetes Association encourages everyone to speak up and spread the word about what diabetes is really like. The social media campaign asks them to declare, “This Is Diabetes” using the campaign hashtag #ThisIsDiabetes to help educate others, break down stereotypes, correct myths and misunderstandings, and create a sense of urgency about the disease. Also note that today, November 14th is World Diabetes Day .
I consider myself fortunate to work closely with Medtronic and their awesome team in their Diabetes Solutions & Services division, in a strategic alliance with Watson Health. We are working together on building a couple of diabetes management solutions that aim to help make a real difference in people’s lives. One will be a personalized mobile companion called Sugar.IQ with real-time glucose insights and predictions for individuals with diabetes to help make daily diabetes management easier.
The other solution is an integrated & personalized care program for healthcare systems, called Medtronic Turning Point, to assist people with diabetes using the power of cognitive care technology. IBM Watson Health is working with Medtronic by developing a new generation of personalized diabetes care management tools. IBM can help identify individuals at high-risk for hospital readmission due to diabetes. Using the resulting cognitive insights, Medtronic can provide an integrated and personalized care program to healthcare systems, to assist people with diabetes and help reduce cost of care. See video below. And check out 3 patient stories here.
Watson Health & Medtronic are transforming diabetes care together using cognitive computing. And, by the way, we are just getting started in tackling diabetes.