IBM has a long-standing commitment to health care and global health. This week the company revamped its “patient portal.” Dubbed the IBM Patient Empowerment System, it now acts like a social network for participating patients.
Especially intriguing here is the interactive nature of the Patient Empowerment System—if a person has an urgent question about the interaction of two drugs, the system will cross check his or her medical records and background and warn yes or no to taking a particular medicine. It also allows patients to log in, update their profiles with prescription information, symptom complaints, blood pressure readings, and to find other patients struggling with similar illnesses or diseases. A patient can send a message to other patients and ask questions about certain medications or offer advice from personal experience.
“Most patients do not have the same access to information available to physicians, such as treatment updates or new warnings from the FDA,” said Joseph Jasinski, IBM Research. “And physicians are not always privy to ongoing patient updates, such as eating habits or long-term monitoring of vital signs. These partial pictures limit the level of care that physicians can provide, as well as the care patients can provide for themselves. The IBM Patient Empowerment System merges these realms, bringing important data to both parties.”