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IBM Watson Health tackles EMR challenges at RSNA

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | December 12, 2017
Health IT RSNA
IBM Watson Imaging Synopsis
IBM Watson Health is doubling up on its efforts to enhance EMR transparency with an upgrade to its current technology and a new product, both expected for release in 2018.

The Massachusetts-based OEM chatted with attendees at this year’s Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual conference about the version 2.0 of its IBM Watson Imaging Clinical Review solution, a retrospective quality improvement platform designed to detect discrepancies and verify if diagnoses are propagated into electronic medical records (EMRs).

“We released it initially with one clinical indication for aorta valve stenosis, which is a deadly heart disease,” Steven Tolle, global vice president of strategy and business development – Imaging at IBM Watson Health, told HCB News. “We are getting ready to release the second version that will cover 306 diseases.”

The solution was released in February of this year as the first Watson product to address needs in the field of imaging. The upgraded version will be able to address a range of diseases including 24 highly-prevalent diagnoses across the care continuum such as cardiomegaly, artery disease, cancer and stroke. It also will enable users to set query status and is designed with a graphically enhanced work list to provide more clarity.

In addition to the upgrade, the company also showcased the capabilities of IBM Watson Imaging Synopsis, a radiology artificial intelligence platform that summarizes information in EMRs, enabling radiologists to make quicker and more confident diagnoses.

“The problem that we’re solving is that like any other professional, radiologists have way too much information to deal with,” Tolle said. “They don’t have the time to read the EMR, and peer-reviewed literature shows that if they do take the time to read the full EMR and read every progress note, an alarmingly high percent of the time - 20-25 percent - they actually may change their opinion, which is scary. So, we’ve built a product concept to show what Watson can do to summarize the EMR, and it’s clinically relevant, which is key.”

Users may customize fields of information based on their viewing preferences and the information they seek. They can also determine how far back they want to reach for priors to help in assessing current patient conditions.

IBM Watson Imaging Synopsis is expected for release in the second quarter of 2018 and will focus on general radiology. Watson Health plans to eventually upgrade it to tackle challenges in specialty radiology and cardiology.

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