VA Taps IBM Watson To Fix Health Care Records With Artificial Intelligence

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IBM Watson

Benjamin KrauseDept. of Veterans Affairs selected IBM Watson to revitalized its electronic records to help medical professionals make evidence based decisions for treating conditions like PTSD. The system will include capabilities to utilize artificial intelligence type systems for “cognitive applications.”

IBM Watson is a new business group created by the company that will use cloud and artificial intelligence to scan through veterans’ health records to provide treatment and other insights. Watson will allow VA doctors to review records, current medical literature and other forms of data to make evidence based medical decisions.

Revamping electronic health records systems is big business. Department of Defense just received bids for its new system that could eclipse $11 billion. IBM is one of the many companies that put in a bid for the project.

Historically, the potential of EMRs has not been realized due to the discrepancies of how the data is recorded, collected and organized across healthcare systems and organizations. Watson’s cognitive capabilities provide a differentiated approach to understanding the dynamics of the EMR environment and correlates what’s in the EMR with medical literature, research and articles, making data from EMRs more meaningful at the point of care.

IBM is supporting VHA physicians and staff in setting up their Clinical Reasoning System at the Department’s data center in Austin, Texas. Watson will ingest hundreds of thousands of VHA documents, as well as medical records and research papers in order to help study how Watson technology can help physicians improve patient care in the clinical environment. In this capacity, the VA is evaluating the system in simulated pre-visit, visit, and post-visit situations where physicians will conduct technical, functional and usability assessments.

 

Check out the full Press Release:

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Taps IBM Watson to Help Accelerate and Enhance Care Delivery

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is using Watson technology in a pilot to assist physicians in helping accelerate the process of evidence-based medical decision making. The VA joins leading healthcare organizations that are working with IBM Watson to help improve efficiency and quality of care being delivered. As part of the multi-year contract, the VHA will also work with Watson for a clinical focus supporting veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

According to the VA’s National Center for PTSD, there are approximately 21.6 million veterans in the United States. As many as 20 percent of veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF) are impacted with PTSD. Additionally, 12 percent of Gulf War veterans and 15 percent ofVietnam veterans suffer from PTSD.

With the amount of medical data doubling every three years and the size and complexity associated with patient data in Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Watson will be studied to see how it can help VHA clinicians quickly make sense of an overwhelming amount of data. Watson will make it possible for VHA physicians to interact with medical data in natural language, process millions of pages of patient information and medical literature to uncover patterns and insights, and learn from each interaction. By sifting through reams of clinical data, Watson is able to distill evidence and knowledge within seconds.

Advanced as part of a separate collaborative effort with Cleveland Clinic, IBM is applying Watson technology to an EMR environment to help clinicians navigate and process medical records, uncovering key information and unlocking hidden insights within the data. Such an evidence-based approach has the potential to help physicians make more informed decisions about patient care. The VA will study how to use capabilities of the IBM Watson Discovery Advisor to analyze healthcare data.

Available now as a cloud service, IBM’s Watson Discovery Advisor is designed to scale and accelerate discoveries. It can help reduce the time physicians need to test hypotheses and formulate conclusions that can advance their work – from months to days and days to just hours – bringing new levels of speed and precision to research and development.

Historically, the potential of EMRs has not been realized due to the discrepancies of how the data is recorded, collected and organized across healthcare systems and organizations. Watson’s cognitive capabilities provide a differentiated approach to understanding the dynamics of the EMR environment and correlates what’s in the EMR with medical literature, research and articles, making data from EMRs more meaningful at the point of care.

IBM is supporting VHA physicians and staff in setting up their Clinical Reasoning System at the Department’s data center in Austin, Texas. Watson will ingest hundreds of thousands of VHA documents, as well as medical records and research papers in order to help study how Watson technology can help physicians improve patient care in the clinical environment. In this capacity, the VA is evaluating the system in simulated pre-visit, visit, and post-visit situations where physicians will conduct technical, functional and usability assessments.

“IBM designed Watson to help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges, and I’m humbled to be working with the VA in helping them, including enhancing treatment efforts for PTSD,” said Anne Altman, General Manager for U.S. Federal at IBM. “There’s no more important challenge than improving healthcare for our veterans and we’ve seen how Watson can assist medical professionals and make it easier for them to capture insight from so many sources and make more informed decisions. The VA is poised to join other key healthcare industry leaders who are already pioneering the use of cognitive computing in healthcare.”

About VHA

The Veterans Health Administration is home to the United States’ largest integrated healthcare system consisting of 150 medical centers, nearly 1,400 community-based outpatient clinics, community living centers, Vet Centers and Domiciliaries. Together these healthcare facilities and the more than 53,000 independent licensed healthcare practitioners who work within them provide comprehensive care to more than 8.3 million* Veterans each year.

* From the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics — www.va.gov/vetdata

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing

IBM Watson represents a new era of computing in which apps and systems interact with human users more naturally, augment our knowledge with Big Data insights, and learn to improve how they assist us.

Fueled by innovation from a mission to transform industries and professions, Watson is uniquely positioned at the forefront of the new era of computing, evidenced by an unmatched demonstration of what cognitive systems can bring to transform decision-making. IBM is delivering a range of cloud-based products and services to clients in industries such as banking, healthcare, insurance, retail and education.

In January 2014, IBM launched the IBM Watson Group, a new business unit dedicated to developing and commercializing cloud-delivered cognitive advisors. The move signifies a strategic shift by IBM to deliver a new class of software, services and apps that think, improve by learning, and discover insights from massive amounts of Big Data.

IBM is investing $1 billion into the Watson Group, focusing on development and research and bringing cloud-delivered cognitive applications and services to market. This includes $100 million available for venture investments to support IBM’s ecosystem of start-ups and businesses building cognitive apps made with Watson.

For more information on IBM Watson, visit: www.ibmwatson.com

Check out the IBM Watson press kit at: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27297.wss

Mitchell Derman
571-216-8712
[email protected]

Tod Freeman
415-320-5893
[email protected]

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO

SOURCE IBM

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Do you think the VA will use Watson to deny benefits, initiate re-assessments for disabilities, and other nefarious tasks?

    • In decades of dealing with VA, I have yet to see VA do ANYTHING in favor of the vet. VA is all about corruption and shoveling money to mobbed up contractors. If it were about vets, they would shut down VA, and give us vets a good insurance card with no co-pay.

  2. DevilDog, in a word YES!

    The first thing that the VHA needs to do in comply with HIPAA, i.e., accept and share records from other providers, AND WITH THE VBA. It is mandated that if a covered entity (which the VBA is) has a need for claim payment (whether medical or legal) the records can be shared with another covered entity without asking the patient. So there is a start.
    But of course, the DVA will design the system so as to manipulate it against veterans. This patently violates the law, and the mission of the DVA. If it doesn’t accept all medical records, it cannot begin to comply with equipoise, nor provide continuity of care.
    So the DVA will spend billions for several years and get to a point where IBM tells it that the DVA has ignored Watson’s recommendations, that the logic is faulty, and it will fail miserably!

  3. A computer system is a computer system, if it is operated by greedy corrupt people, it will not help veterans. The problems at VA are moral and ethical problems not technology or funding problems.

  4. Thank you Brother Ron Nesler, once again the VA has gotten around ACCOUNTABILITY. Fixing something that is NOT broken seems to be the FLAVOR THE VA SAVOURS. The SYSTEM is OK, the PERSONNEL operating / administrating the System are the “Problem”. VA, let us ” DO THE RIGHT THING “, CLEAN UP THY HOUSE.

  5. IBM is a “lost” company. Lost in space now. Watson , I’ve read, doesn’t have any real use and IBM is trying to find a use for it. So IBM convinced the VA to “pick me, pick me, pick me!” so IBM can start bragging that Watson worked wonders on the very muddled VAHS. IBM has been lost in space since the days of the Mainframe computers in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s when any company that wanted requiring computer power would have no choice but to buy mainframes from them or lease out time on a one of their mainframes. Since then, IBM has failed in everything they do, including proclaiming they are a “service company”, not a mainframe company anymore since the 90’s. That went down the tubes because they can’t make the profit margins they once made with the mainframes. Greedy bastards. The only way they can boost earnings to make their stock go up, is to cut their expenses by getting rid of employees by the boatload (tens of thousands of them lately), not by turning out new innovative products. They sold the prospect of Watson to the VA – who we all know is corrupt – to make the VA look like cutting edge – which they are not – they are, ah.. what’s the word, ahh… oh yea… CORRUPT. The two belong together.
    Fuck them!

  6. I believe I should have bid on that contract, certainly could have saved some money, “yes, I know EMR/EHR depending on where you live in this country and which definition to use.” I also know “one nurse caught doing a no no, lying big time. I also learned this whole know “TRAIT THEORY” which the Jury is still out on it, gee, as humans, we have many traits about oneself. I still hear the words of my Psych Professor, “DO NOT USE TRAITS, TRAITS IS LAZY IT ALSO CAN DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD.” ( EX: TEXAS? AND I BET MORE TO COME?)
    SHE WAS THE DEAN YEARS AGO, WE HIT IT OFF RATHER WELL, SHE SAW MY SINCERITY TO EDUCATE YOUNG COLLEGE STUDENTS REGARDING AIDS AWARENESS AND THE NAMES PROJECT. Even after my course was done, I kept at it, because besides seeing others pass on, my brother too did right before we came here, I didn’t want to leave, ( should have stuck with that)
    SO, IF THEY DO A FIVE TRAIT TEST ON YOU, all I can say “QUESTION EVERYTHING.”
    ( who’ve they hired for cloud storage, yes know all and more, trust that, and who will be “attempting” to use cognitive reasoning, “you ever notice we do not come in the one size fits all category?” )
    Here is what bothers me the most. Yes I wrote the IG several times, gee the first one had some damn Bubba Boston on my back-which really ain’t cool, something ain’t right. But a person who refused to listen to my words, I truly hate redundancy, unless you need assistance to learn. ( you aren’t allowed to say the F word or Flip a digit, Mr. “Peacock Boston” had my moms BUDDHIST beads that I wear because of intense pain, they help me, I have no clue where she got them, she traveled the world. Yes, damn odd duck I am, but she is gone, and the little things count. I managed to get my hand through the cuff, only because I didn’t want them broken he was rude cuffs went a hell of a lot tighter, I stated such he popped off and I said the F word in Italian! He answered back in English? I can’t make this up. At 10p I am asked about my red rist, stated ask your cop.
    1. If you get a call from a concerned party on behalf of the IG, and they seem to be pushing buttons, let them know your fine if you are. I was more than fine, the damn letter was about my back and the damn care of sloppy medical practices has done more harm than good for Veterans, “TIME TO CALL THE VA OIG AND THE VA IG ON THE CARPET AND GIVE THEM FULL EXPOSURE TO VETERANS, BECAUSE OF MY LOUD VOICE AND THAT MENTALITY OF IRISH AND AN ITALIAN TEMPER, I BLEW THAT ONE TRYING TO SPEAK OVER A DOG THAT SEES A UNIFORM, SHE THINKS HEY ITS LUNCH!”
    2. Keep your cool. Even if it seemed to be the worst news that isn’t a concern much now ( as my doctor wrote and told them neuro spine or she will not have good results and I fear she will loose the use of her legs. I already knew it was happening, but the optimistic wonder I prefer, WASNT happy to see it in writing, I should have stated not a good time. When I wrote the IG AGAIN, “OH I REALIZE YOURE TALKING ABOUT BACK PAIN” REALLY? So what are these individuals about. I never knew an assault could be categorized to mere “traits” and PTSD AINT one! “LUCY, WHAT DID YOU DO? HOW WILL YOU FIX IT TO BENEFIT ALL VETERANS I DOUBT WE WOULD EVEN FIND TWO WHO ARE ALIKE!

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