Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

IBM integrates Watson into telemedicine app

Steve Rogerson
October 29, 2019

IBM is working with Premier Health Group to help build and integrate Watson AI into the Canadian company’s patient centric telemedicine app.
According to studies done by the American Medical Informatics Association and Research Gate, activities that have nothing to do with patient care consume over half (51%) of a nurse’s workload and nearly a fifth (16%) of physician activities. Artificial intelligence (AI) based technologies, such as voice-to-text transcription, can improve administrative workflows and eliminate time-consuming non-patient-care activities.
Watson is IBM’s suite of enterprise-ready AI services, applications, and tooling. Its capabilities include natural language processing, text, signal and image processing, machine learning, and other AI capabilities to help free employees from repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on more creative, higher-value work.
The companies are developing a way in which IBM can help build and integrate Watson Assistant as a virtual medical office assistant for Premier’s 4600 healthcare professionals servicing three million patients. It will initially focus on building conversational interfaces that will allow patients to interact with their medical office while enabling office staff to spend less time on the phone.
A few examples include assistance with booking appointments, helping patients know what they should do to prepare for their next appointment and, eventually, help to triage patients to ensure those with medical emergencies will get the medical attention they require much faster.
“The future of health is being transformed with technologies like AI, and we are thrilled to be working with the experts at IBM,” said Essam Hamza, CEO of Premier Health. “As a doctor and previous clinic owner, I understand the frustrations patients have connecting with overstretched clinic staff. In addition, inefficient use of resources amount to increasing challenges in primary care. Our new initiative is curated for medical clinic owners and operators to reduce the burdensome overhead associated with day-to-day logistical operations while also improving patient care. The key for the future sustainability of healthcare is efficient and streamlined workflows and, with the use of IBM’s cutting-edge AI technology, we have the power to completely disrupt and revolutionise the delivery of healthcare.”
Premier Health plans to develop and expand its platform using analytics and AI capabilities from IBM Watson.
Premier Health is a Canadian company with a combined ecosystem of 290 clinics, more than 3000 licensed practitioners and three million registered patients.