IBM Watson Health has announced it is expanding the IBM Watson Health Cloud with the introduction of the IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance and the IBM Watson Care Manager.

The IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance will help biomedical companies bring medical innovations to market more efficiently. This first-in-class solution will help the companies fast-track the deployment of a GxP compliant infrastructure and applications while adhering to stringent requirements for hosting, accessing, and sharing regulated data.

IBM Watson Care Manager is a population health solution that uniquely integrates capabilities from Watson Health, Apple's HealthKit and ResearchKit, a software framework designed by Apple to make it easy for researchers to conduct studies using an iPhone. It allows medical professionals' to factor a broad range of determinants into a personalized patient engagement program, with the intent to vastly improve individual health outcomes.

"IBM is dedicated to developing market leading, industry-specific cloud offerings that meet each sectors' unique needs," said Michael Rhodin, SVP of IBM Watson Group. "This newest expansion of the IBM Watson Health Cloud makes it an even more robust and flexible platform for the life sciences and healthcare industries and explains its rapid adoption among leading organizations in these fields."


IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance

IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance is a new offering to help accelerate regulated workloads to the cloud. This first-in-class solution is designed to fast-track the deployment of a GxP compliant infrastructure and applications for biomedical companies, which must adhere to stringent requirements to assure their products are safe and effective. IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance will help enable life sciences companies to bring new medical discoveries to market quickly and efficiently.

Regulatory requirements are vital to ensure safety and efficacy of medical treatments and diagnostics, but they can also add considerable time and expense to the development of medical innovations. In the U.S., for example, it takes on average more than 20 years and $2.6 billion to research, develop and test a new medicine, according to PhRMA Research, and just .01% of U.S. drug discoveries ever make it to market.

Information technology plays an essential role in all facets of the drug and medical device development process for life sciences companies. The computerized systems used by these companies, hardware or infrastructure and the software that runs on it, are required by regulation to be tested to assure that it functions reliably. The testing is a rigorous, time-consuming endeavor which adds time and expense to the development process.

Currently, life sciences companies are able to work with non-regulated workloads in the cloud, such as drug research and discovery, but not regulated workloads such as preclinical studies, clinical trial data, marketing application data, and data on a commercially marketed product. The IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance changes that. Now, companies can work with, share and collaborate on their regulated workloads on the compliant cloud infrastructure and do so on a global scale. The Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution will enable companies to quickly create a compliant infrastructure quickly, helping to achieve regulatory compliance around required laboratory, clinical and manufacturing practices.

"Our team spends hundreds of hours on each validated deployment documenting all infrastructure details for our life sciences clients," according to Benjamin Chodroff, CTO of CloudOne, an early tester of the solution. "The list is seemingly endless in both complexity and scope. The IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance will help ensure that the infrastructure, network, and platform remains stable, consistent, and thoroughly documented with the required change controls. The amount of effort required for our own highly skilled team is reduced from weeks of deployment time into a few hours."


IBM Watson Care Manager

IBM Watson Care Manager brings together Phytel's patient engagement tools, Apple HealthKit and ResearchKIt, and integrates these into the Watson Care Manager, enabling care providers and patients to work together day to day to support individual health.

The new offering is designed to integrate disparate types of clinical and individual data and apply cognitive analysis to draw out insights for nurses, physicians assistant and other care managers so they can closely monitor and counsel individuals with complex, often, costly conditions.

For example, upon hospital discharge a patient with chronic heart failure (CHF) may receive a personalized care plan that includes tracking weight daily and monitoring physical activity. Currently, how patients report such data and how care managers evaluate and act on that data has largely been a manual process.

With IBM Watson Care Manager a patient can opt-in to have data collected from wireless-enabled scales, wearable devices, other types of sensors, and from assessments delivered to the patient's device, such as an Apple Watch. Care managers receive insights derived from cognitive analysis of a patients' integrated data streams, towards the goal of enhancing engagement with the patient so potential health problems are spotted and addressed early. The data related to that individuals' case is then fed back into the IBM Watson Health Cloud, which analyzes over time which interventions correlate with positive results and applies that knowledge to future care management options.

"With the flexible workflow tools and automated patient engagement functionality, we're able to build evidence based programs that support our care management team in delivering care to our patients," said Juie LaPrade, vice president of Quality for inHealth, a consortium of Virginia  hospitals and physician organizations that has curated technology-driven solutions in support of optimal patient outcomes. "This is proving to be enormously valuable in our work in accountable care and population health."