IBM and Medtronic to Partner to Improve Diabetes Care

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) today announced that they will work together to combine powerful analytics and cognitive computing with diabetes medical devices and health data to develop a new generation of personalized diabetes management solutions. People using Medtronic diabetes solutions could benefit from new solutions developed in collaboration with IBM's newly-formed Watson Health unit.

With diabetes device data continuously gathered and analyzed in real-time, information can be anonymously combined with numerous other sources of data such as electronic medical records, health insurance claims and population health data to uncover patterns and predict health risks using advanced analytics models. IBM and Medtronic are exploring ways to develop diabetes care management solutions that will optimize patient outcomes and health economics, leveraging Medtronic's devices and care management offerings, including therapies and coaching, and IBM's Watson Health Cloud platform.

In addition, the two companies also expect to develop near real-time, dynamic personalized care plans that provide decision support for health care providers and their patients with the goal of improving care efficiency and outcomes. IBM and Medtronic will also jointly explore ways to leverage IBM's Watson platform to improve Medtronic and partners' closed loop algorithms, which intend to mimic the function of a healthy pancreas.

"Devices alone cannot transform diabetes care. The combination of leadership technologies, big data, informatics and world-class patient management are all required to drive effective results in diabetes care," said Hooman Hakami, executive vice president and president of the Diabetes Group at Medtronic. "Medtronic and IBM intend to bring these capabilities together to pioneer a new level of care that will improve outcomes and lower cost so people living with diabetes can enjoy greater freedom and better health."

"We are building a secure, open innovation platform that could change the face of diabetes management," said John E. Kelly III, IBM senior vice president, solutions portfolio and research. "Medtronic and IBM can marry the power of analytics, cognitive computing and patient engagement with the world's most sophisticated diabetes management devices to truly change how people with diabetes live."

More than 387 million people worldwide live with diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). Managing diabetes is incredibly complex and costly for healthcare systems. The IDF also estimates that global health spending to treat diabetes and manage complications totaled at least $612 billion in 2014. Better disease management − including technology advancements and integrated care solutions − can improve quality of life for millions of people with diabetes while saving healthcare dollars.

IBM's Watson Health Cloud is a secure, open platform designed to provide IBM's clients, partners and academic researchers with access to the world's most complete view of aggregated clinical, research and social health data.