WASHINGTON, July 30 (UPI) -- CVS and IBM are partnering to create a computer database system that brings together health records, pharmacy and medical claims information, environmental factors, and fitness devices to help healthcare providers manage patient treatment plans better.
The companies announced their plan on Thursday to combine patient and other health data with predictive analytics and the cognitive computing of IBM's Watson Health Cloud to improve care management services for patients with chronic conditions.
"This partnership will enable us to leverage advanced technologies and key health information to develop a tool that can be applied by a variety of health care providers such as pharmacists, nurse practitioners at MinuteClinics or connected health care providers," said Dr. Troyen A. Brennan, Chief Medical Officer for CVS Health, in a press release, "and that can help our pharmacy benefit management clients improve member health and manage cost."
IBM announced earlier this year that it had partnered with Apple, Johnson and Johnson and Medtronic to launch Watson Health Cloud applications for insurance companies and care management professionals to track a wider collection of data on their patients.
The services IBM and CVS plan to build together will be made available to insurers and others involved with the employer and health plan marketplace to help predict the health of individuals by analyzing more information better, encourage patients to be more healthy and follow treatment plans, and find more cost-effective care providers.
The companies expect the services they develop to especially help with chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, which represents represent 86 percent of the $2.9 trillion in annual health spending in the United States.
"The capabilities of the IBM Watson Health Cloud, when coupled with CVS Health's insights into medication utilization and patient behavior, could prove transformative for the industry," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM Watson.