Epic, IBM Watson, Mayo Clinic to embed cognitive computing in EHRs

A new collaboration between three of healthcare's biggest players seeks to use cognitive computing and EHR data to personalize healthcare and enhance care delivery.

IBM Watson Health, the new dedicated healthcare unit of IBM, announced a partnership with Epic Systems and Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic to apply Watson's cognitive computing capabilities to EHRs.

Epic plans to embed Waton's cognitive computing capabilities into its EHR using open standards, which will then allow patient data to be pulled from health records and delivered to Watson. The supercomputer will then analyze that data in comparison to its massive volumes of stored clinical data and produce medical literature and case studies most relevant to that patient's care to help inform clinical decisions in real time.

IBM and Epic are working with Mayo Clinic to implement this approach as a way to match patients to clinical trials.

"Building on our recent announcement of IBM Watson Health, we are collaborating with Epic and Mayo Clinic in another important validation of the potential of Watson to be used broadly across the healthcare industry," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM Watson. "This is just the first step in our vision to bring more personalized care to individual patients by connecting traditional sources of patient information with the growing pools of dynamic and constantly growing healthcare information."

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