Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

IBM and Siemens announce five-year plan for health management

Steve Rogerson
October 25, 2016
IBM and Siemens Healthineers have announced a five-year, global strategic alliance in population health management (PHM). The alliance aims to help hospitals, health systems, integrated delivery networks and other providers deliver value-based care to patients with complex, chronic and costly conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
The health-focused alliance is the first of its kind for the companies, which have a long-standing global relationship that spans diverse industry sectors including IBM’s work with Siemens Building Technologies, Siemens PLM and Siemens Digital Grid. It also marks Siemens entry into PHM.
Siemens Healthineers and IBM Watson Health intend to help healthcare professionals navigate unprecedented changes propelled by a growing volume and diversity of health data, an aging global population, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, changes in healthcare payment models, and the digitisation and consumerisation of healthcare.
"The adoption of PHM that demonstrates meaningful use of IT applications is expected to accelerate rapidly," said Koustav Chatterjee, analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Patient care is moving into a broader but coordinated environment where routine, manual tasks are automated by PHM that unifies siloed systems, stratifies comorbidities, empowers patients through engagement, and benchmarks outcomes at network, practice and patient level.”
He said he expected the shift from volume to value-based healthcare delivery would accelerate adoption of PHM technology and services helping providers effectively manage chronic conditions and prevent unnecessary system use.
The alliance leverages the expertise and global reach of both companies, including Siemens’ track record of introducing technology-driven innovations to a broad range of providers and IBM's cognitive healthcare offerings. As part of the alliance, Siemens will offer PHM services from IBM Watson Health. These offerings are designed to help meet hospital and healthcare systems' demands for value-based care analytics and reporting, and patient engagement. Siemens will also provide consulting services to support providers in their transition to value-based care.
For example, Siemens has access to IBM Watson Care Manager, a cognitive system from IBM designed to help providers and patients work together to support individual health. Watson Care Manager integrates disparate types of clinical and individual data and applies cognitive analysis to draw out insights for nurses and other care managers so they can closely monitor and counsel individuals with chronic conditions.
"Combining our strengths, Siemens Healthineers and IBM can effectively help providers transition to a value-based healthcare environment," said Matthias Platsch, head of services at Siemens Healthineers. "We will bring the power of Siemens Healthineers' extensive relationships with providers and our deep domain expertise in clinical workflows, services and digital health technologies to bear to help bring population health management offerings to healthcare providers.”
He said the alliance fitted perfectly into the services business of Siemens.
“Thus we will enter the rapidly growing PHM market which is expected to play a significant role in end-to-end value-based healthcare," he said.
Under the alliance, it is the intent of IBM and Siemens to work together to develop and deploy PHM offerings leveraging each company's expertise and assets, including those added to the Watson Health portfolio from acquisitions such as Phytel and Explorys.
"We are at an unprecedented time in healthcare," said Deborah DiSanzo, general manager for IBM Watson Health. “Mature and developing markets are increasingly focused on how patient outcomes are optimised, quality is standardised among individuals and across populations, and costs are reduced. Siemens and IBM are ideal partners to work at the forefront of this evolution and enable personalised healthcare in the USA and globally."
In the year to September 2015, Siemens Healthineers generated revenue of €12.9bn and net income of over €2.1bn. It has about 45,000 employees worldwide.