IBM Clinical Development Blog

"So why is IBM at OCT Southeast?": We are SO glad you asked!

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 30, 2017 10:16:47 AM / by Douglas Weatherhead

Topics: medical coding, clinical trials, clinical research, Merge Healthcare, IBM, cognitive technology, Merge, an IBM Company, IBM Clinical Development, Watson Health, IBM Watson Health, cognitive computing, Truven, Explorys, Cognitive Era

Of all the questions we heard as a sponsor of last week’s Outsourcing in Clinical Trials Southeast conference, that was definitely the most frequent.

Outsourcing in Clinical Trials Southeast 2017

And it’s perfectly understandable. Because while IBM has worked in healthcare for more than half a century (we developed the first pediatric medical record in the 1960s), most of that work has been “behind the scenes” supporting the use of technology in tens of thousands of hospitals, health systems and research organizations worldwide.

But as IBM Watson Health has emerged in recent years, that “behind-the-scenes” approach has been swept away. Since 2015 IBM has invested more than $4 billion assembling an unrivaled portfolio of healthcare companies, including Truven Health, Explorys and Merge Healthcare. IBM Watson Health now comprises an unprecedented amount of patient records, clinical data and medical literature. As we enter the Cognitive Era, the promise of technology to improve healthcare from bench to bedside has never been brighter. And nowhere is this more apparent than in a data-intensive sector like clinical research.

For example, a common theme we heard discuseed at OCT Southeast surrounded medical coding today. With the myriad ways to describe the various components and data that comprise a trial—especially one crossing language boundaries—researchers often must clarify, reconcile and enter data multiple times. The result? Higher levels of frustration, delays and cost overruns.

In conversations during and in between conference session, it was clear that there’s a restlessness among researchers to streamline and enhance the quality and safety of clinical studies. From speeding patient enrollment, improving adherence and strengthening retention to managing the flood of clinical data now available through wearable and injectable devices, the opportunities for cognitive computing to improve research are nearly limitless.

IBM Clinical Development is well positioned to solve these types of issues and we will unveil more of our solutions in future blogs!

So when an OCT attendee approached us with a quizzical look, we happily reached out a hand and shared why IBM Watson Health was there. Because we know we can’t fulfill our mission to transform clinical trials alone. We need the skills, energy and knowledge of others who are just as committed as we are to improving the human condition.

Want to learn more about how you can help Watson Health transform clinical research? Contact us here!

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Douglas Weatherhead
Written by Douglas Weatherhead