I’m psyched about the launch of IBM’s Watson Health Business Unit. Now that I spend about 50% of my time in the healthcare world working on customer co-designed health and wellness initiatives, I’m very interested in technology advances that will improve the lives of patients and their caregiver partners. However, I’m concerned that IBM is following the money and may be missing an opportunity to really innovate to create patient-friendly and patient-centered solutions.
On Monday, April 13th, IBM announced a series of interconnected announcements laying out its growing health information ecosystem. This is a really smart place for IBM to be investing and leveraging its AI, cloud computing, security, and mobile technologies. By being a trusted custodian and aggregator of patients’ health information, and using the insights gleaned from Watson’s pattern matching and inference engines, IBM could speed up accurate diagnoses and spot patterns that contribute to breakthrough research. But I’m not convinced that patients are at the center of IBM’s thinking.
Here are the highlights (the wording is IBM’s; the emphasis is mine):