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IBM Expands Its Dallas-Based Health Analytics Solution Center to Meet Explosive Growth of Medical Information Industry

IBM announces it will expand its Dallas-based Health Analytics Solution Center by adding new technology and doubling the number of its "healthcare solution architects and technology specialists" employed at the facility, according to a company press release. (IBM is not returning repeated calls requesting that info).

Teams at the Center are now working on projects which assist physicians connect smart phones, tablets and other devices to electronic medical records (EMRs) while also helping healthcare providers build new solutions for remote patient monitoring.

As part of this expansion, IBM said the Analytics Solutions Center will incorporate some of the same technology used in its "Watson" computer. The company is working to improve the mobile EMR experience through voice recognition and technology that provides understanding of medical text (similar to the way Watson analyzed hundreds of millions of pages of text and then went on the game show Jeopardy! and defeated human contestants this year). This new technology will allow caregivers to distill more insight from medical notes, exams and pathology reports that now can be evaluated and compared electronically.

According to a recent study by Enterprise Strategy Group Advanced, health analytics increasingly is being used to help healthcare organizations gain new insight from the explosion of health data growing at a rate of 35 percent annually. Today, over 27 percent of specialists and primary care physicians use a tablet PC or similar device. And as clinicians adopt smart devices at five times the rate of the general population, said IBM, they will increasingly need to connect to EMRs for instant access to patient records in their office, during hospital rounds, or on call.

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