News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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New IBM Healthcare Analytics Software Helps Move Doctors to Predictive Medicine; May Create Opportunities for Pathologists to Add Value

Pathologists and clinical laboratory administrators should stay alert to the impact on the traditional role of pathology with increasingly effective, predictive clinical decision-support software

To support the transition to predictive healthcare—and in a move that is a separate but parallel initiative to its Watson healthcare program—IBM (NYSE: IBM) recently unveiled its new healthcare analytics software.

By mining structured and unstructured data, the software will enable physicians to more accurately diagnose and treat patients. This could mean significant improvements in patient outcomes and savings in overall healthcare costs. It could also mean improved utilization of clinical laboratory tests and motivation by clinicians to more closely consult with pathologists on the interpretation of medical laboratory tests. (more…)

Pathologists Take Note: IBM’s Watson to Attack Cancer with Help of WellPoint and Cedars-Sinai

Goal of unique collaboration is to give physicians a more accurate way to diagnose and treat many types of cancer

Two noteworthy healthcare organizations will collaborate with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to explore how IBM’s Watson can be used to help physicians deliver improved outcomes to patients. The collaboration involves one major health insurer and a prominent academic medical center in Los Angeles.

WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) will interact with oncology experts at the Cedars-Sinai Cancer Institute in Los Angeles to “educate” and program Watson as a physician’s assistant. What makes this particularly interesting for anatomic pathologists is the potential of this project to marry advances in molecular diagnostics with artificial intelligence in ways that allow physicians to diagnose different cancers earlier and with greater accuracy.

In its story about this development, the Los Angeles Times reported that, per IBM, physicians at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute will be the first to use the Watson technology.

The institute’s doctors will serve as advisers and lend expertise to help shape the initiative to develop effective ways to use Watson. “Cedars Sinai will provide the guidelines and insights to put into Watson,” stated Manoj Saxena, General Manager of IBM Watson Solutions, in a story published by Forbes Magazine.

Watson is IBM’s computing system that incorporates deep question answering technology that allows it to search quickly through vast amounts of data, then process it and analyze it in a way similar to that of the human brain. The Watson system is capable of processing the equivalent of about 200 million pages of data in about three seconds, Forbes reported.


IBM Watson Picks Advisory Board—but No Pathologist

Clinical laboratory managers and pathologists have an opportunity to expand the presence of laboratory medicine

IBM (NYSE: IBM) recently issued a press release announcing its new Watson Healthcare Advisory Board (WHAB). The board is comprised of healthcare leaders with a broad range of research, medical and business expertise. Unfortunately, that expertise does not include pathology or specialists in laboratory medicine.

Watson represents a technology breakthrough that can help physicians improve patient outcomes,” said Herbert Chase, M.D., Professor of Clinical Medicine (in Biomedical Informatics) at Columbia University, in a recent IBM press release. “As IBM focuses its efforts on key areas including oncology, cardiology and other chronic diseases, the advisory board will be integral to helping align the business strategy to the specific needs of the industry.”

IBM Invests $100 Million in Healthcare Informatics, but That is Not Unusual for IBM

Company will develop solutions for new reimbursement models, evidence-based care, and supporting health service delivery needs

Earlier this fall, IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM) announced plans to invest $100 million specifically to advance IBM capabilities in three key areas of healthcare informatics. That seemed like a big deal that might affect clinical pathology, since IBM is one of the information technology (IT) giants in the United States.

However, Dark Daily editors made a surprising discovery as they researched the news of IBM’s new $100 million healthcare IT investment initiative. IBM has a habit of making $100 million investments in recent years! It has learned that dropping a press release that announces a $100 million IT investment initiative generates plenty of press coverage.