Hackensack Meridian Health to Pilot Combined Watson for Oncology and Cota Technology to Power Value-Based Clinical Decision Support in Cancer Care


CHICAGO, June 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM Watson Health (NYSE: IBM), Cota, and Hackensack Meridian Health, an integrated healthcare system in New Jersey, today announced a collaboration to pilot a combination of IBM Watson and Cota technology for the first time. The goal is to bring Cota's value-based care and real-world data into IBM's Watson for Oncology clinical decision support tool, which Hackensack Meridian Health oncologists will then use in a pilot to help inform patient care. The goal is ultimately to help oncologists make evidence- and outcomes-based clinical decisions for their cancer patients, which could reduce total cost of care.

"Hackensack Meridian Health is excited to expand our existing partnership with Cota by incorporating the deep insights Watson for Oncology has to offer," said Robert Garrett, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. "We pride ourselves on our ability to provide patients with cutting edge care and this pilot will help us achieve that mission while also reducing the total cost of care and getting us closer to value-based care trends, like bundled payments. Our collaboration with IBM and Cota will allow us to do just that, while furthering our commitment to innovation and stretching the limits of health care."

The Hackensack Meridian Health pilot will be rolled out to an initial group of 10 oncologists and will be available to as many as 500 patients now through the end of October. Watson for Oncology will be used by oncologists to help identify and rank treatment options, providing links to supporting evidence, empowering oncologists with unparalleled insights as they consider the right course for their patient. Cota will derive abstracted and benchmark data and embed patient classification into Watson for Oncology to analyze meaning and context from clinical notes, reports and key patient information within the context of treatment planning. In the second phase of the pilot, evidence-based treatment recommendations and care paths in Watson will include insights on bundled payment assignments.

"With the transition to value-based care, health systems are under increased pressure to provide accountable, high-quality care while keeping costs low. But clinicians lack the resources that can help them identify optimal treatment options at the point of care, limiting their ability to achieve value," said Andrew Pecora, MD, founder and executive chairman of Cota and chief innovations officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. "The combined insights possible from Cota and Watson for Oncology fills this void, creating the market's only solution that presents real-world outcomes to decision-makers when they need to make decisions. Providers like Hackensack Meridian Health will now have the necessary tools to achieve the highest possible performance under all types of value-based models and cutting edge cancer care."

"An increasing body of clinical evidence supports the value of Watson for Oncology to help democratize access to quality, evidence-based treatment, bringing the world's leading expertise to doctors all over the world," said Rob Merkel, vice president and general manager of oncology and genomics, IBM Watson Health. "In today's environment and the shift toward bundled payment, care providers often need a combined view that helps them keep pace with not only the latest clinical evidence but also the value they can expect from a particular patient based on real world evidence and patient similarity analytics. Cota provides powerful new data-driven capabilities to help meet this need."

The combined use of Watson for Oncology and Cota real world evidence aims to present treatment recommendations alongside insights on real-world outcomes to the oncologist at the point of care. Cota provides real world evidence along with cancer cohort analytics incorporating efficacy, toxicity, and cost data. This is driven by the Cota Nodal Address™ (CNA), a patented real world data classification system that groups patients into clinically meaningful cohorts. IBM's Watson for Oncology provides oncologists with personalized, evidence-based decision support, combining attributes from a patient's electronic medical record with clinical guidelines, medical literature and expertise from training with Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Following the pilot, Hackensack Meridian Health expects to roll out the solution throughout its system, extending access to these tools to oncologists across its health network.

About IBM Watson Health

Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing capability representing a new era in computing. The system, delivered through the cloud, analyzes high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language, and proposes evidence-based answers. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. In April 2015, the company launched IBM Watson Health and the Watson Health Cloud platform. The new unit will help improve the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers to innovate by surfacing insights from the massive amount of personal health data being created and shared daily. The Watson Health Cloud can mask patient identities and allow for information to be shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly growing aggregated view of clinical, research and social health data. For more information on IBM Watson, visit:ibm.com/watson. For more information on IBM Watson Health, visit: ibm.com/watsonhealth.

About Cota

Cota Healthcare is a technology platform that enables providers, payers, and life science companies involved in diagnosing and treating complex diseases to optimize the outcomes of individual patients and lower the overall cost of the patient population served. It is powered by the patented Cota Nodal Address™ (CNA) system, a unique digital classification methodology built by leading physicians and data scientists. The CNA is the first and only system that precisely categorizes patient factors, their diseases and intended therapies, enabling precision medicine at scale.

Cota's technology enriches medical records to create research-grade data, and joins it with a suite of analysis, visualization, and management tools. This enables providers, payers, and life sciences companies to analyze, report on, and research outcomes, costs, treatments, and quality at any granularity and stage of the patient journey. The result is a constantly improving system that merges technology and medicine to improve the lives of patients everywhere.

About Hackensack Meridian Health

Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 13 hospitals, including two academic medical centers, two children's hospitals and nine community hospitals, physician practices, more than 120 ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 28,000 team members, more than 6,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The Network's notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, the number one hospital in New Jersey as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For," one of the "20 Best Workplaces in Health Care" in the nation, and the number one "Best Place to Work for Women." Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

For additional information, please visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org.

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