IBM Watson is one of the most exciting developments in population heath. It has an unprecedented capability for processing high volumes of data and turning that data into natural language answers. IBM Watson is like Siri on steroids. Through partnering with a number of organizations, IBM has been able to increase the range and power of the Watson. One of the most recent partnerships in this direction has been its partnership with ODH Inc. The progeny of this collaboration is called Mentrics.
Mentrics gives Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) and Behavioral Health Organizations (BHOs) like Renown Health the ability to “understand the whole population, segment the population needing intervention AND manage and monitor the key determinants of health for each segment.” Not only will Mentrics give population health organizations more data to work with, it will make providing healthcare cheaper and more streamlined–specifically when targeting those segments that suffer from a chronic comorbidity.
The Cost of Comorbidity
When patients have a physical and a comorbid (coinciding) mental health disorder, treatment becomes more costly and often less effective. For instance, a patient with diabetes and depression has a 200% higher mortality patient compared to a patient who only has diabetes. Furthermore, individuals with coronary artery disease and depression are 2 to 3 times more likely to incur a future cardiac event. Those who fall into this segment of comorbidity of chronic physical and mental health cost 300% more than those with only only chronic health condition.
Bottom line: the greatest healthcare expenditures are going to a small group. We need a way of addressing this specific group. Big data, population health, and specifically Mentrics is the answer.
Mentrics in Action
HITConsultant.com has identified three specific areas in behavioral health that Mentrics will benefit
1) Behavioral Health Population Management
Using 22 dimensions including a model for behavioral health specific risk stratification (the only commercially-available one on the market thanks to IBM Watson), Mentrics will be able to create clinically meaninful poplulation segments.
Bottom line: This will help medical professionals to identify which segments will most likely benefit from interaction.
2) Provider Network Performance
With Mentrics, providers will be able to assess their own effectiveness and efficiency, allowing for a comprehensive comparing of providers and an analysis of the entire provider network. This will in turn work towards value-based payment arrangements.
Bottom line: Money will be allocated more accurately, efficiently, and economically.
3) Patient Care Coordination
Using a user-friendly, “Longitudinal Data Visualization tool”, cross-network providers will be able to notice detailed patterns in medication use and clinical history. Furthermore, providers will be able to receive notifications based on evidence-based care gaps like patients receiving duplicate prescriptions and providers will be able to customize cross-network care via these notifications.
Bottom line: Providers will have a more holistic view of patients and will have an interoperable system in place for communicating with other providers.
Realizing the Vision of Population Health
Years ago, population health was a vague though ambitious field. It promised an integrated cross-network system that optimized patient outcome and reduced patient cost. Yet, it seemed that there was no shortage of hurdles blocking population health from ever realizing its vision.
But recent developments in digital health, such as Mentrics prove that there is indeed hope for an ubiquitous population health model. Mentrics provides providers with unprecedented awareness of the millions of variables that go into a healthcare system. Now it’s just a matter of this brilliant software finding its way into practice.