Johnson & Johnson to leverage IBM Watson for virtual health coach app

A new partnership between Johnson & Johnson and IBM Watson will utilize the technology company's artificial intelligence and analytics platform to build consumer-focused technology apps, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The app will provide virtual coaching to patients following knee replacement surgery, Johnson & Johnson CIO Stuart McGuigan told WSJ. Using Watson's cognitive computing, the app seeks to predict patient outcomes, suggest treatment plans and provide personalized encouragement to patients while they recover.

According to the report, Johnson & Johnson plans to sell the app to hospitals and payers who could then offer the virtual coaching and rehabilitation tools with patient and consumers. The company hopes such an offering will help boost patient engagement in their care as well as help guide providers and payers in decision making.

"Watson can provide intelligent coaching along the way, and then analytics can help the hospital or insurance company know what to do," Mr. McGuigan said in the report.

Johnson & Johnson plans to launch a prototype of the app in the fourth quarter.

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