In a press release issued yesterday, MAP Health Management and IBM Watson Health announced a partnership that “aims to address the pervasive problem of relapse among Americans suffering from Substance Use Disorder, a chronic disease.” MAP will integrate Watson cognitive technologies into the MAP Recovery Network Platform to enhance the platform’s existing capabilities around patient risk models. In doing so, it is anticipated that behavioral health and substance abuse treatment providers that use the MAP platform will be better able to predict and prevent incidence of relapse nationwide.
According to the release from MAP, addiction and substance abuse claim more than 125,000 lives per year in the United States and result in economic costs of up to $700 billion annually. More than 22.5 million Americans need help with a Substance Use Disorder and only 2.6 million Americans are receiving treatment. Currently, many treatment programs do not provide sufficient support following acute treatment and lack a standardized means to collect data on long-term treatment program results4. MAP is helping to fill that gap, and believes that using near real-time data and technology will enable them to better understand which patients are at greatest risk of relapse.
Jacob Levenson, CEO of MAP Health Management stated: “Addiction is the great crisis of our time. The current method of assessing, treating and paying for addiction and substance care isn’t sustainable. It’s time to leverage an advanced cognitive technology platform like IBM Watson to help make the right, evidence-based decisions to best treat those suffering from addiction. This could help patients manage their disease more effectively over the long term. Bringing Watson into MAP’s ecosystem has the potential to improve countless lives and reduce substance abuse costs. MAP and IBM Watson hope to make a huge impact.”
Embedding Watson technologies into the MAP platform is expected to allow MAP platform users to unlock and more easily act upon insights from MAP patient data that were previously hidden and overlooked by traditional solutions. For example, case notes from a treatment expert or care manager can often be omitted or lost as part of an increasingly automated treatment process because they are a form of unstructured data from which traditional tools cannot capture and extract value. A MAP platform that includes Watson functionalities has the ability to read such case notes, potentially allowing the MAP platform to surface insights for a clinician to consider when interacting with a patient.
Aetna Behavioral Health is expected to deploy the Watson-powered MAP offering to help predict substance abuse relapses among its members. MAP and Aetna are working together, in conjunction with addiction treatment providers, to collect and analyze patient data in order to more sufficiently develop treatment protocol and long-term strategies to support a patient’s ability to achieve and remain in recovery. The collection and application of these valuable outcomes data will help fill a current void in the addiction treatment field today and will drive better quality results across care continuums.
“The MAP and IBM collaboration promises to be a tremendous opportunity to leverage the power of Watson towards solving the scourge of opioid dependence and addiction now affecting so many people,” said Louise Murphy, head of Aetna Behavioral Health. “We look forward to continuing to work with MAP, and now IBM, to innovate and devise new methods for helping people struggling with addictions and comorbid behavioral health disorders achieve optimal emotional health and well-being.”
“IBM Watson Health and MAP have the potential to positively impact the tens of millions of people and families suffering from addiction in the United States,” said Kathy McGroddy-Goetz, VP of Partnerships and Solutions, IBM Watson Health. “MAP Health Management is widely recognized as having a robust addiction outcomes database. IBM’s Watson cognitive computing technology is a natural fit to further empower what MAP is doing to help improve qualitative and quantitative outcomes in the behavioral health and addiction treatment fields.”