IBM-Aetna Partnership Launches Clinical Support Collaboration

IBM and Aetna have teamed up to create a service that will analyze patient medical records, claims data, lab results and other information to determine the best treatments, Reuters reports. "The service, which will incorporate IBM's analytical software, is also designed to flag overdue check-ups and alert doctors to which patients in their wards require the most immediate attention." Furthermore, the system would allow doctors to compare their performance and cost against national benchmarks, a feature that may help them win higher reimbursements from insurers. The service is just one part of IBMs push into health IT, which — at $20 billion — the hardware-turned-software firm views as a crucial business opportunity (Ando, 8/5).

Aetna subsidiary "ActiveHealth, which provides healthcare IT software and services, will jointly market the cloud suite, dubbed the Collaborative Care Solution," ZDNet.com reports. "In a nutshell, the Collaborative Care Solution takes ActiveHealth's clinical support technology, called CareEngine, and delivers it through IBM's cloud computing platform and other assets such as its Cognos business intelligence software. The aim: Combine electronic medical records, claims, medication and lab data to cut medical mistakes and costs" (Dignan, 8/4).

Aetna and IBM aren't the only firms collaborating in the health IT space. The newsletter eWeek reports, "Intel and GE formalized its collaboration in health care with a 50/50 partnership to tackle chronic diseases and implement telehealth initiatives. As part of the agreement, the two companies plan to tackle exploding health care costs that are affecting an increasingly aging population by allowing people to get care at home." A new partnership firm will launch before the year's end to support the effort (Horowitz, 8/4).

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