News | Artificial Intelligence | March 02, 2017

IBM Debuts First Cognitive Imaging Offering from Watson Health

Company also announces expansion of Watson Health Medical Imaging Collaborative to 24 members worldwide

IBM, Watson Health, Imaging Clinical Review, first cognitive imaging offering, HIMSS17

March 2, 2017 — IBM at the 2017 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Conference and Exhibition (HIMSS17) introduced IBM Watson Imaging Clinical Review, the first cognitive imaging offering from Watson Health. The company also announced the expansion of the Watson Health medical imaging collaborative to 24 organizations worldwide, adding clinical and industry expertise for the worldwide initiative finding ways to use medical imaging to identify and predict the risk of cancer, diabetes and diseases of the eye, brain, breast, heart and related conditions.

New collaborative members include:

  • Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin;
  • IDx LLC;
  • PrivaCors;
  • Strategic Radiology;
  • Sutter Health;
  • Pacific Radiology Group;
  • University of Michigan; and
  • University of Virginia Health System.

They join founding members that include:

  • Agfa HealthCare;
  • Anne Arundel Medical Center;
  • Baptist Health South Florida;
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School;
  • Hologic Inc.;
  • ifa systems AG;
  • Inoveon;
  • Radiology Associates of South Florida;
  • Sentara Healthcare;
  • Sheridan Healthcare;
  • Topcon;
  • University of California San Diego Health;
  • University of Miami Health System;
  • University of Vermont Health Network;
  • vRad, a Mednax company; and
  • Merge, an IBM company.

“The medical imaging collaborative is vital to Watson’s ongoing training and the development of cognitive imaging solutions to address the world’s pressing health challenges,” said Anne Le Grand, vice president of Imaging for Watson Health. She added that members of the collaborative helped design and curate data for Watson Imaging Clinical Review.

The offering reviews medical data to help healthcare providers identify the most critical cases that require attention. The first application for the offering is cardiovascular disease, starting with aortic stenosis (AS). A pilot study found that Watson Imaging Clinical Review was able to help hospital personnel identify potential AS patients who had not been previously flagged for follow-up cardiovascular care.

Using Watson Imaging Clinical Review, hospital administrators may identify cases where follow-up care is warranted and assure electronic medical record (EMR) information is complete. It uses cognitive text analytics to read structured and unstructured information in a cardiologist’s medical report, combines that with a variety of data from other sources (e.g. EMR problem list), and extracts relevant information to verify key data, including the diagnosis, is accurately reflected throughout the health record.

“Watson Imaging Clinical Review is the type of targeted AI [artificial intelligence]-driven tool that providers could put to use to help them standardize care delivered across their organization, and gradually build a critical mass of reproducible results from their patient population. In doing so, it can support a population health-driven approach to personalized care,” said Nadim Michel Daher, a medical imaging and informatics analyst for Frost & Sullivan.

“Out of the gate, this type of cognitive tool may provide big benefits to hospitals and doctors, providing insights we don’t currently have and doing so in a way that fits how we work,” said Ricardo C. Cury, M.D., director of cardiac imaging at Baptist Health of South Florida and chairman and CEO of Radiology Associates of South Florida.

IBM plans to supplement the release of this offering with nine additional cardiovascular conditions, such as myocardial infarctions, valve disorders, cardiomyopathy and deep vein thrombosis.

Read the feature story "How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Medical Imaging."

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