This week during 13th Annual World Health Care Congress, IBM unveiled IBM Health Corps, a global first -of-its-kind pro-bono program focused on tackling health disparities using IBM Watson’s cognitive tools and analytics. The new service initiative will bring IBM’s top talent and cognitive technologies to help communities address health challenges such as primary care gaps, health worker shortages, and access to safe water and nutritious food.
Unity Health Care Pilot Project
IBM plans to pilot the Health Corps in a project with Unity Health Care in May. Based in Washington, D.C., Unity, one of the nation’s largest community health centers, provides primary care to more than 100,000 underserved residents through its 26 local clinics, including those based in schools and homeless shelters. As the health community increasingly recognizes the need to bridge the gap between siloed health care services, Unity plans to integrate behavioral health into its primary care practices.
Unity believes that this could benefit individuals whose emotional or behavioral health issues exacerbate their other chronic diseases. Unity believes it may also lower emergency and long-term health expenses. The Health Corps team will be tasked with creating an operational blueprint for piloting and scaling a model for clinics that combines both primary and behavioral health care within each care team.
IBM plans to select five communities each valued at $500k later this year following the proposal process to receive the expertise of IBM’s best problem solving teams equipped with relevant health and technical expertise in disciplines such as cognitive, cloud, mobile and social computing; predictive analytics; medicine and population health.
The selected teams are deployed to the organization to spend three weeks on site. An IBM Health Corps engagement is provided at no cost to the organization. During the engagement, the IBM Health Corps team works to address a mission-driven strategic priority identified by the host organization. The objective is to equip the organization with the tools, recommendations and roadmap it needs to advance its priority during and beyond the three-week Health Corps engagement.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with IBM Health Corps to help us address our patients’ behavioral health needs,” said Seiji Hayashi, MD, MPH, FAAFP, Executive Vice President for Transformation and Innovation, Unity Health Care, Inc in an official statement. “With their expertise in data analytics and population health capabilities, IBM’s support will catalyze our work and help us improve the quality of life for thousands of people in the D.C. community.”
Applications may be submitted to IBM through April 20th by visiting ibmhealthcorps.org.