IBM Watson, Tiatros apply AI to deliver more veterans PTSD treatment

Rate at which veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder completed psychotherapy programs jumped from under 10 percent to 73 percent.
By Tom Sullivan
08:26 AM
IBM Watson Tiatros AI PTSD

Incorporating Watson artificial intelligence and analytics into the post-traumatic stress disorder treatment program helped achieve a 73 percent psychotherapy completion rate among veterans with PTSD, IBM Watson and Tiatros announced this week.

Fewer than 10 percent of veterans with PTSD normally complete a treatment program within a year of being diagnosed, but as many as 80 percent can recover when they do so, according to published Veterans Affairs statistics. VA findings also suggest that one in five of the 3 million veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffer from PTSD. 

[Also: VA finally gets transparent on veteran wait times, clinical care quality]

Artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and machine learning, meanwhile, are becoming increasingly important in healthcare. A Healthcare IT News and HIMSS Analytics study found that 35 percent of hospitals plan to deploy AI tools within two years, while more than half intend to do so within five. 

The Tiatros Post Traumatic Growth for Veterans program connects veterans with others and invites them to submit three narratives each week that the Watson Personality Insights and Tone Analyzer APIs analyze and, in turn, delivers personalized, evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy.

"The Tiatros resiliency programs, especially with their emphasis on technology-enabled peer groups, are a perfect example of the AI opportunity in healthcare,” said Kyu Rhee, MD, chief health officer at IBM Watson Health. “AI can enable medical professionals to scale what they do without sacrificing security and privacy."

Tiatros began using Watson APIs in 2016. 

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