Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

Kyu Rhee, Chief Health Officer, IBM

Kyu Rhee, Chief Health Officer, IBM

By Kyu Rhee, MD, MPP

There was an interesting decision to make within IBM about what to call a new business organization that we’re announcing today. Should it be named Watson Health or Watson Healthcare?

“Health” is an aspiration, for individuals and society. “Healthcare” describes an industry primarily focused on treating diseases.

While healthcare is essential, it represents just one of many factors that determine whether people live long and healthy lives. Some other critical factors are genetics, geography, behaviors, social/environmental influences, education, and economics.  Unless society takes all of these factors into account and puts the individual at the center of the healthcare system, we won’t be able to make large-scale progress in helping people feel better and live longer. So, Watson Health it is.

The name-choice matters. It signals that we and our partners in the healthcare sphere share an idea about the relationship between health and healthcare. We believe that by using data and technologies in powerful new ways and putting the individual at the center it’s possible to improve the quality of care, improve the “user” experience, deepen engagement between organizations and individuals, and reduce costs and waste.

YouTube Preview Image

I have been wrestling with these imperatives through my entire career, first as a National Health Service Corps physician serving underserved, high-need communities in Washington, DC and Baltimore and, more recently, in leadership positions at the US Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institutes of Health and IBM. So I have viewed them from a variety of perspectives–those of physicians, researchers, government, employers, and, of course, personally.

One of the shortcomings of old-fashioned healthcare was that it treated the individual as a passive object. The word “patient,” a person who waits patiently for others to take care of them, indicates the powerlessness of individuals in the face of a complex system designed to treat them and pay for their treatment.

People want to be treated like individuals and to participate more actively in their healthcare. Doctors and nurses want to help people live healthier lives to prevent health problems, and to make healthcare more personal.

Another challenge is the fact that the healthcare system has been highly fragmented. While health information grows and is rapidly being digitized, the participants in the system–including physicians, healthcare delivery organizations, drug makers, insurance companies, employers, governments, and the patients–can’t share information and insights as readily as they would like to. In fact, a lot of the most valuable knowledge is tucked away in these different silos, especially the doctors and the patients who are at the core of the key, trusting relationships in healthcare.

watson_health_illustration_FINALToday, society is able to address these problems in powerful new ways because of advances in data availability, analytics, and connectivity. The emergence of Big Data enables us to gather and combine a wide variety of information, everything from individual genetics and personal health records to environmental conditions and studies of large populations over long periods of time. Analytics tools, including cognitive systems such as Watson, make it possible for us to understand all of the factors affecting health much more deeply so all the participants in the healthcare system, including the patients, can make better decisions. Cloud computing makes it easier for all parties to share and access information. And a new generation of mobile devices–including fitness trackers and other home monitoring devices–enables people to gather data about themselves and connect with health advisors and physicians anywhere, anytime.

These technologies are all essential parts of the new Watson Health business, dedicating at least 2,000 consultants, medical practitioners, technology developers and researchers to design, implement and accelerate the adoption of Watson Health products and services. It’s another example of IBM’s evolution as a company that helps transform industries and takes on society’s biggest challenges.

Here are the key elements of our strategy:

–Analytics. IBM’s Watson cognitive technologies are powerful insight-producing tools for physicians, healthcare delivery systems, pharmaceutical researchers and other health professionals. Now we’re adding to our technology portfolio by acquiring Cleveland-based Explorys and Dallas-based Phytel, two leaders in applying Big Data and analytics to improve the quality of healthcare.

–Data sharing. A new cloud-based open platform, Watson Health Cloud, will offer a foundation for data sharing across the entire spectrum of the healthcare and life sciences ecosystem, including doctors, researchers, insurers and patients–enabling all of them to share information that when analyzed could lead to better, faster, and more cost-effective decisions that improve peoples’ lives The information will be highly secure and patient’s names will be de-identified to allay privacy concerns.

–Partnerships. In addition to sharing data, it’s critical for participants in the healthcare system to combine their expertise and resources to create technology-based solutions to health and healthcare problems. Today, we’re announcing three such partnerships.

With Apple, we’re applying cloud and analytics expertise to Apple’s HealthKit apps for individual health management and ResearchKit tools for connecting medical researchers with individuals who are willing to share information.

With Johnson & Johnson, we’ll create intelligent coaching systems for physicians and nurses using Health Cloud and Watson technologies.

With Medtronic, we’re developing personalized care systems for people with diabetes. By combining sophisticated monitoring systems with analysis of an individual’s health factors, they’ll be able to take better care of themselves at home.

YouTube Preview Image

The medical community is one of the earliest adopters of Watson cognitive computing technology. IBM has collaborated with leading health care organizations such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic, and the New York Genome Center to explore the ways in which these technologies can transform how medicine is practiced and taught.

This early work has shown us the value of building an ecosystem of connected, like-minded organizations. Now, we foresee a new era of collaboration that will empower individuals with key data-driven insights, transform the healthcare system, and lead to a democratization of health and wellness.


To learn more about the new era of computing, read Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing.

Bookmark and Share

Previous post

Next post

October 16, 2016
7:25 am

Your style is so unique compared to other people I have read stuff from.

Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book mark this blog.

Posted by: meditation techniques
October 15, 2016
2:09 am

It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to
this excellent blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed
to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and
will share this website with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

Posted by: londonpress
June 11, 2016
1:02 pm

keren dah artikelnya

Posted by: sales mobil honda semarang
June 1, 2016
9:21 am

It is of the utmost value to recognize the type of individuals who will be
frequenting the restaurant.

Posted by: restaurant furniture uk suppliers
May 29, 2016
4:20 am

data sharing could be the greatest benefit of this technology. Good job

Posted by: tabby
May 21, 2016
3:43 am

good one many of these wonderful training is definitely how to download SHAREit for Computer. keeping user’s net as the major aim. All the crucial tutorials Shareit PC Download nice.

Posted by: Shareit PC
March 17, 2016
10:02 am

snapchat pc

Posted by: snapchat pc
March 17, 2016
9:57 am

mobogenie for pc

Posted by: mobogenie pc
March 5, 2016
9:46 am

nice nice

Posted by: imo for pc
February 21, 2016
12:09 pm

You might be wondering why you ought to purchase from an antique store instead of a regular division shop?

Posted by: dining tables
November 29, 2015
9:48 am

Hi there, this weekend is pleasant in favor of me, for the reason that this occasion i am reading this
impressive educational article here at my residence.

Posted by: minimon masters hack for android
June 30, 2015
5:20 am

Nice blog. I like it.

Posted by: sharonrays
June 18, 2015
1:08 pm


Posted by: jomki
June 11, 2015
4:50 am

i enjoyed reading this post

Posted by: agrieconomics
May 19, 2015
2:43 pm

I see a lot of comments about coaching people to be on the right Rx. How about coaching people on nutrition to lead them down a path of not needing Rx’s.

Posted by: Lorraine
April 20, 2015
5:58 am

I am very happy to see IBM moving forward in the field of personalized health care with Watson Health. I do hope that IBM’s Watson and the applications and services derived from such powerful AI will help us achieve a healthier life and extend our lifespan sooner than later.

Posted by: Lifespan Central
April 19, 2015
2:07 pm

I wonder what kind of big data IBM wants to collect in the medical realm with iPhones and such. serious medical care takes more data than what an iPhone can deliver: blood counts, blood pressure, sugar levels, x-ray, mri, sonographic data. where is all that on the iPhone?
maybe some medicine in the large; though we know already that we should eat healthy, drink less, smoke not etc….
in addition to the true complexity of medical data gathering (ever been in an MRI?) what about liability (oops, Watson erred, patient died). what about privacy?

Posted by: Carl Binding
April 16, 2015
5:27 am

Very interesting! I’m already privately involved in one of the Karolinska Institute’s research project for 3 months in Sweden, where a “master clock” is used in addition to laboratory tests. I’m even writing a diary on the web and obviously use Apple’s Ipad Air iOS 8.3 for it.

Watson Healthcare + Apple’s HealthKit apps with personalized control devices would surely provide great value for money in such healthcare research projects or in private automatically health tracking!

Posted by: Kari Kinnunen
April 15, 2015
1:07 pm

Great step to a new era of healthcare! Analytics, Data sharing and Partnerships will take healthcare to a toltaly different level. This inniciative will drive a much healthy Planet.

Posted by: Miguel Aguiar Netto
April 15, 2015
10:40 am

Technology will allow us to monitor heath more quickly and in real time, so that patients get the help they need faster. Great article.

Posted by: Telematic Controls
5 Trackbacks
September 10, 2015
9:01 am

[…] IBM Watson Health is changing the game for the healthcare industry by introducing a new cloud service, IBM Watson […]

Posted by: Taking the New Era of Computing to Healthcare « A Smarter Planet Blog A Smarter Planet Blog
July 30, 2015
9:08 am

[…] thinking into every aspect of healthcare and wellness at IBM–and we’re committed to creating technology-based solutions that give organizations and healthcare providers worldwide the tools for improving the health and […]

Posted by: How Watson Can Help Tackle Chronic Disease « A Smarter Planet Blog A Smarter Planet Blog
April 24, 2015
6:55 am

[…] Article was originally posted here […]

Posted by: Watson Health: Empowering Patients and Transforming Healthcare - The MSP Hub
April 20, 2015
2:16 am

[…] Watson Health: Empowering Patients and Transforming Healthcare « A Smarter Planet Blog A Smarter Pl…. […]

Posted by: Made me think: video and chart on IBM Watson Health: Transforming Healthcare and ‘putting data to work for all of us’ - Futurist, Author & Keynote Speaker Gerd Leonhard
April 18, 2015
5:50 pm

[…] IBM understands the massive potential for the future of medical data. Source: Smarter Planet […]

Posted by: Bulger Partners » How Apple, Qualcomm, and Lawyers will Revolutionize Healthcare
Post a Comment