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Watson and MedyMatch partner to read trauma CTs in the ER faster

by John W. Mitchell , Senior Correspondent
IBM Watson Health and MedyMatch announced a collaboration today that will help emergency room doctors find brain bleeds sooner from CT scans of trauma and stroke victims.

Watson Health will distribute the MedyMatch clinical support application globally through its vendor-neutral sales channels for integration into its other offerings.

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"MedyMatch is focused on those clinical areas where time is of the essence, when access to expert physicians may not be feasible, and when decision in treatment can cause more harm to the patient than doing nothing at all," Gene Saragnese, chairman & CEO, MedyMatch Technology told HCB News.

He stressed here is no intent to replace physicians. But, he said, it is a benefit to patients for any attending physician to be able have access to a "second set of artificial eyes" that protectively review image studies.

"For the physician, it is the confidence of knowing that they are not alone. In that moment of decision to treat, or not treat the patient, knowing that there is a high probability of either the presence of a bleed or no indication of brain bleed, may be the factor that saves the patient’s life," he said.

MedyMatch is an artificial intelligence company. Saragnese said they work to develop applications that improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs in the acute care setting. He said that MedyMatch has a 97 percent sensitivity and 90 percent specificity in the detection of a bleed on a non-contrast CT.

"The opportunity to have an impact in health care is enormous. The revolution has begun," he said. "As partners, IBM Watson and MedyMatch, will work together to deliver applications based on artificial intelligence that will be used by the average physician in real time."

Anne Le Grand, vice president of imaging for IBM Watson Health echoed that sentiment.

“The opportunity to leverage MedyMatch’s inventive technology is an exciting addition to the vendor-neutral capabilities we are working to deliver to providers who specialize in brain health,” she said. "IBMs alliance with MedyMatch supports Watson Health’s global strategy to apply the power of Watson to the world’s most pressing health care challenges."

According to Dr. Michael Lev, director of emergency radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, the partnership will reduce diagnostic errors. This in turn, he said, will improve patient outcomes.

"The implementation of A.I.-based computer-aided detection and clinical decision support tools to medicine in general, and to the emergency department, in particular, has the potential to increase the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of patient management," said Lev. "MedyMatch is ideally positioned to leverage this technology."

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