IBM Watson Health adds 2 companies, three partners, moves to Boston and into the cloud

click to enlargeA Day with a Big Exclamation Point for Healthcare Data and Analytics. In a series of press releases late NY time on Monday and a spectacular announcement at HIMSS (photo hat tip to Sandeep Pulim via Twitter), the recently quiet-on-the-healthcare-front IBM Watson has announced multiple major moves that re-position it squarely into the healthcare arena as the 90,000 lb. Elephant.

  • IBM Watson Health is now a separate business unit headquartered in Boston. The Watson New York headquarters will be expanded, but that may be for their other businesses: travel, retail, veterinary care, cognitive computing, and IT security and support. IBM claims that Watson Health will be hiring up to 2,000 healthcare consultants, clinicians and researchers, folding in existing units such as Smarter Care and Social Programs.
  • The IBM Watson Health Cloud is now their secure, open and HIPAA compliant platform for health-related data: physicians, researchers, insurers and health and wellness companies.
  • Three new partnerships were announced, designed to bolster IBM in different aspects of what is to be done with All That Data being generated from health and fitness devices. IBM Watson Health Cloud will be the secure platform, storage and analytics for Apple’s HealthKit and ResearchKitJohnson & Johnson will be working with Watson on pre/post-operative coaching and education and Medtronic on diabetes management using data from Medtronic devices.
  • IBM is in agreement to acquire two growing data analytics businesses: Cleveland-based Explorys (clinical and financial intelligence and analysis) and Dallas-based Phytel (provider-based population health management). Explorys is a Cleveland Clinic spinoff that has an Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) platform and claims one of the largest healthcare databases in the world covering 15 percent of the US population. Phytel is particularly hot as a platform for practice care management under the new Medicare Chronic Care Management reimbursement model. Both already have IBM identification and news on their respective websites.

IBM has issued five releases: overview, Apple, Medtronic, Phytel and Explorys–but oddly, not jointly with J&J.

And on the lighter side, IBM Watson is debuting tomorrow in Washington, DC a cookbook called Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson in conjunction with the Institute for Culinary Education.The Chef Watson Project analyzes and scores ingredient pairings and to demonstrate the analytical approach to flavor combinations and recipe creativity.  Video.

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