IBM Announces $100 Million Health IT Program
The initiative will drive IBM's cloud computing, data analytics plans across the healthcare industry to enhance evidence generation, service quality, privacy and new incentive models.

Fuente:  Fecha: 16.07.2010

IBM announced Thursday that it will spend $100 million over the next three years to develop technology solutions in areas such as systems integration, services research, cloud computing and analytics -- as well as emerging scientific areas such as nanomedicine and computational biology -- to drive technology innovations that will assist doctors, nurses and other clinicians in efforts to improve quality patient care.
As part of the initiative, IBM expects to hire approximately 100 experts including doctors, clinicians, nurses, engineers, economists and social scientists who will work with IBM's researchers and engineers to forge new innovations in health information technology. Additionally, the company will seek new research collaborations with businesses, governments and universities.

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SugarSync lets you put your desktop apps in the cloud, and then access them from an iPad -- thus, you can always take your desktop files with you. You can open any file type that the iPad supports.Company executives said IBM will focus its research on several areas such as evidence generation, which uses scientific methods to turn raw health data into proof of effective treatment methods, which can be used by healthcare providers at the point of care.
Other areas of focus include improving service quality through simplifying the healthcare delivery process, and developing new incentives and models that will transform the healthcare system from one that rewards treatment and volume of care to one that increasingly values outcomes and healthier patients. Privacy and security of patient data and compliance with current healthcare regulations will also be addressed throughout the new research initiative.

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"If these areas are addressed in a substantive way by bringing together a lot of the work that we have been doing over the years into greater coherence and focus, we will be able to help the payers, providers and other pharmaceutical companies and other parts of the healthcare system to do their job much more effectively while lowering costs and improving clinical outcomes," Chalapathy Neti, global lead, Healthcare Transformation at IBM Research, said in an interview with InformationWeek.

Turning his attention to cloud computing, Neti said IBM is looking at several models that the company thinks will be suitable to fulfill the needs of healthcare providers.

"We are looking at a wide variety of different models where cloud computing will be applicable. One key area where we believe cloud will be valuable is for large scale comparative effectiveness infrastructures to allow for massive scale aggregation of data and creating a data model that will allow us to analyze the data to get these comparable effectiveness insights. But we are looking at lots of other areas where cloud will be very valuable," Neti said.

Executives at IBM also note that part of the initiative will be to develop solutions to drive greater efficiency and streamline processes at health insurance companies. According to IBM officials, evolving regulatory and security requirements are adding complexity to the relationship between patient and health plans and it is more difficult to track decisions and manage costs.

To address this, IBM has been conducting a pilot project with National Account Service Company (NASCO) to help its benefits and operations teams make changes to claim processing rules quickly and accurately in response to rapidly evolving regulations, policies and patient coverage rules that regularly occur with healthcare benefit plans. The changes are so complex that one small change can set off a series of unintended consequences, causing valid healthcare claims to be denied or paid inaccurately.
NASCO, a company that processes claims for BlueCross and BlueShield Plans, worked with IBM to create benefit plan traceability by examining existing benefit code and rules and mapping them back to industry concepts and constructs. The team created a technology that translates the different sequences of code into English, analyzes the sequences, consolidates similar functions into groups, and displays the translated code using several data visualization approaches.

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BlueTooth headsets were everywhere at CES, but Blue Ant always has something new and innovative. This year, it was showing off its slim Q1, with some significant wind suppression modifications and voice control.Using IBM's expertise in analyzing complex, large-scale IT systems, the scientists have provided NASCO with a way to improve claims payment research while increasing the flexibility necessary to efficiently respond to new or changing healthcare regulatory and market requirements.
"What we have done is taken the rules for claims processing, which can get complex, and externalize them from deep code so that they become far more manageable and provide transparency and manipulability of those rules to enhance traceability of what was done as well as providing ease of extracting best practices," Neti said.

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In a separate announcement today, IBM and Peking University People's Hospital in China have built an evidence-based patient centric care system to enable cooperation and resource sharing among medical services providers for improved patient care.

The Peking University People's Hospital project is one of several initiatives IBM is conducting worldwide to help bring a more evidence-based approach to patient care.

IBM's researchers are working with the European HYPERGENES consortium to identify the genetic variations responsible for hypertension and associated organ damage through building a single view of the disease and a comprehensive genetic-epidemiological model that takes into account how genomics and other factors help improve diagnostic accuracy and introduce new strategies for early detection, prevention and therapy for individuals that suffer from hypertension.

Scientists and mathematicians across IBM's global labs are using data mining, information management and advanced analytics to build a system to address adverse drug reactions and interactions as well as provide insights to clinicians on effective courses of treatment for chronically ill patients taking multiple medications. Additionally, IBM's computer scientists are working with cardiologists to identify patterns in symptoms and characteristics across a patient set that can improve insights into diagnoses, treatments and outcomes.

More than 100 researchers across IBM's nine worldwide research laboratories and its collaboratories in Melbourne, Australia, and Taipei, Taiwan, will be contributing to the new initiative.

"We are applying a lot of this global capability to very specific [cases] in the American context. Watch the space for more announcements in this area," Neti said.

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