IBM Offers Cloud-based Patient Information Service to Health Care Providers

Vendor teams with ActiveHealth Management to offer medical providers improved use of electronic health records (EHR) and other patient information through cloud computing platform.

August 16, 2010

D.H. Kass

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IBM Corp. said that it has jointly constructed with ActiveHealth Management Inc., a subsidiary of insurance giant Aetna Inc., a new cloud computing-based health care solution that helps hospitals and medical providers gather, analyze and share patient data housed in multiple locations.

The Collaborative Care Solution creates a detailed patient record by using ActiveHealth’s CareEngine technology and IBM data analytics to compile and analyze information such as electronic health records (EHR), medication, lab data and insurance claims to help providers make more informed and timely decisions.

IBM said that the solution will help hospitals and medical practices meet the federal government’s rules for meaningful use of EHR’s to qualify for millions in incentive funds beginning this fall.

An IBM official suggested that the Collaborative Care solution is tied to the vendor’s increasing focus on carving out markets with its analytical technologies in opportune areas such as city planning and operation, agriculture, law enforcement and, notably, healthcare.

“We’ve invested over $12 billion in business analytics in the last decade alone,” said Dr. Paul Grundy, IBM director of healthcare transformation.

“Data, and the ability to take data, and personalize it down to what you need at the individual level is going to do for the mind of the doctor and the doctor patient relationship what X-ray has done for the vision over the last 25 – 30 years,” Grundy said.

Cloud solution improves efficiency, lowers costs and enhances patient care

Dr. Jeffrey Jacques, ActiveHealth Management, chief of clinical innovation, said that the Collaborative Care solution is focused on improving patient care.

“Collaborative Care is ultimately about providing a better support system for the patient and having clear lines of responsibility and authority to help that person really optimize their health,” he said.

The solution combines IBM’s Health Information Framework, its health information exchange service called Initiate Exchange, health analytics from Cognos 8 Business Intelligence and predictive analytics from ActiveHealth’s CareEngine technology.

Sharp Community Medical Group, a San Diego, CA-based organization comprised of 200 primary care physicians and 500 specialists, said it plans to use the Collaborative Care solution to connect its members, according to Dr. John Jenrette, Sharp chief executive.

"The current state of medicine today is one of paper records, fragmentation and lack of patient information at the right location and at the right time,” Jenrette said.

"This is going to revolutionize how we practice medicine," Jenrette said. "Instead of digging into volumes of paper to coordinate services, we're going to have that information available at our fingertips. It's going to make us all more efficient."

The cloud-based service is available for a fixed monthly fee, IBM said.

TAGS: cloud computing,IBM,EHR,Aetna,ActiveHealth

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