IBM Watson thinks it can use AI to fight opioid addiction

Partnership with MAP Health Management will help identify people at risk of relapse so healthcare providers can intervene sooner.
By Bernie Monegain
10:03 AM

IBM Watson Health and MAP Health Management are working together to bring Watson’s data expertise to bear on curbing substance abuse and addiction in the United States.

The partnership aims to fill the current gap in long-term care, utilizing data and technology to understand which patients are at greatest risk of relapse and then effectively deploying treatment and intervention resources.

The Watson-powered MAP offering is designed to help addiction treatment experts, care managers and healthcare insurers prevent relapses. With the help of Watson’s cognitive computing engine, which continuously learns, MAP will identify people at risk of relapse and help healthcare providers intervene sooner. The goal is to achieve better outcomes.

MAP's network includes members such as Aetna Behavioral Health, which will deploy the Watson-powered MAP offering to deliver personalized care management programs to its members.

A minimum of 50,000 new individuals are expected to receive services in the next 12 months, according to MAP executives.

About 570,000 people die annually in the United States due to drug use, according to the National Institutes of Health. That breaks down to more than 480,000 deaths related to tobacco, about 31,000 due to alcohol, nearly 22,000 due to overdose from illegal drugs, and nearly 23,000 due to overdose from prescription pain relievers.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
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