Innovation and reinvention within the healthcare industry has seen more advancements in the last 100 years than the previous 2 millennia combined. Yet, the medical profession is always struggling to more efficiently diagnose and fight disease. IBM took a massive step in spearheading industry reinvention this year with their high-profile acquisitions and medical-related partnerships.
IBM Buys Into the Medical Industry
The technology super giant that has been around since World War II, IBM, just bought Merge Healthcare for $1 billion! This isn’t the first medical-related acquisition IBM has purchased, but it is the biggest. The company has slowly been investing in medical related companies over the last few years while making partnerships with Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and Medtronic.
Image Documents Account for Most Medical Information
IBM researchers estimate that CAT scans, X-Rays, and mammograms account for over 90 percent of all medical data. Doctors traditionally have had to review the images to identify abnormalities while manually cross-referencing the parts of their medical history that they have access to. The entirety of anyone’s medical records can be scattered between multiple hospitals and general practitioner’s offices.
Artificial Intelligence That Manages Patience Healthcare
Watson was created by IBM, and its various partnerships, to analyze text in documents and data on the web. It has a large language processing capability that was put on display by beating former Jeopardy! champions at their own game. It also works with CVS Health, the country’s largest pharmacy chain, to help patient’s better manage their healthcare.
Buying Merge Healthcare and Giving Watson Some Eyes
The Merge Healthcare purchase more clearly explains IBM setting up Watson Health earlier this year. Researchers have been busy giving Watson “eyes,” using complicated algorithms allowing it to cross-reference text data with Merge’s medical imaging software. Watson is an artificial-intelligence technology that can spot patterns from all data gathered.
Medical History Storage
IBM is building a comprehensive storage service, in the cloud, for the entire medical industry. It is believed that Watson will generate medical breakthroughs over the next few years. The tech giant’s goal is to improve healthcare by providing information that leads to more sound medical prognosis. This will reduce wasteful spending for patients, healthcare providers, and insurers.
Proactive Healthcare Diagnosis From IBM
Change doesn’t happen overnight, but IBM seems to be doing everything within their imaginative power to make that a possibility for the medical industry. Creating ways for doctors to be presented with certain medical history patterns of patients will allow them to fight current ailments while predicting potential issues. IBM is also creating a resource for storing everyone’s medical files in one accessible location instead of strewn about various doctor’s offices and filing cabinets.
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