Otsuka, IBM create digital health JV to analyze psychiatric patient data

IBM ($IBM) and Otsuka Pharma are teaming up in a joint venture to market software that will integrate and analyze psychiatric patient data.

The JV, known as Otsuka Digital Health, will develop and market MENTAT, the software, in Japan. Otsuka will contribute its expertise on the central nervous system, with IBM using its Watson-based technology. The goal is to help medical institutions analyze a vast amount of data from medical records in order to provide better care.

In psychiatry, patient symptoms and medical history are not usually enumerated and are instead entered into nonstandardized medical charts, Otsuka said in the statement. This requires hospital staff to spend many hours on analyzing and understanding a large volume of records, with a "massive" amount of data not being used well.

"MENTAT automatically integrates and analyzes patient medical history that is difficult to enumerate," Otsuka said. This creates a database, which hospital staff can then use more insightfully to determine the best course of action for each patient. In addition to improving the quality of treatment, the software will also help staff share useful information with each other more easily.

Otsuka markets the antipsychotics Abilify and Rexulti as well as oncology and cardio-renal drugs. It also sells the BreathTek UBT device for the detection of H. pylori infection in the stomach. It has previously collaborated with Utah-based NuView to help develop and bring to market the latter's diagnostic imaging biomarker for breast and prostate cancer. It has also inked a deal with Horizon Discovery, whose tools it will use to screen compounds and analyze potential drug combinations in early-stage drug development.

In April, the FDA rejected a device that embedded an ingestible sensor into an Abilify pill, submitted by the Japanese pharma and collaborator Proteus Digital Health. The device sends a signal to a wearable patch once the pill reaches the stomach, and the patch timestamps it and sends it to a mobile phone or Bluetooth device. The patch also recorded other factors, such as body angle and activity patterns, giving caregivers a more complete picture of what patients do when taking the drug, and potentially improving adherence.

- here's the statement