San Francisco startup Tiatros partners with IBM Watson on predictive analytics for chronic care networks

Tiatros offers a physician-driven app to enable chronic disease patients to coordinate across providers and to access patient networks. Now, in a deal with the ubiquitous IBM Watson Health ($IBM), it is integrating cognitive computing applications for that data that are based on predictive natural language analytics.

The San Francisco-based startup's effort is dubbed CarePod; it incorporated social media style communications, calendaring and video chat to connect a patient to their family and caregivers. IBM Watson is working to extract relevant information from all that mass of unstructured data to help predict patient health behavior and outcomes and to guide healthcare providers.

Tiatros CEO Kimberlie Cerrone

"Understanding the impact of social determinants on a patient's health requires numerous real-time conversations with lots of different people that doctors simply don't have time for in today's health system. Tiatros helps address this, and helps facilitate and record a type of ongoing care conversation," said Tiatros CEO Kimberlie Cerrone in a statement. "Tiatros incorporates Watson cognitive computing to more easily unearth care insights from unstructured data. We then integrate it into the broader patient record, which has proven to dramatically increase a physician's ability to positively influence patient's health outcomes."

The company is launching a study at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) of this approach that incorporates Watson Personality Insights Application Programming Interface. The study is specifically in war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

UCSF researchers aim to assess if Tiatros' cognitive digital assessment tool for behavioral health can more quickly identify PTSD in veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. It's also designed to measure the impact of therapeutic interventions.

The tool will deliver a series of psycho-educational courses called Next Mission as well as organize veterans into social networks--Courtesy of IBM

In the study, the veterans will be organized into social networks. They will be given a series of psycho-educational courses and homework to conduct with these peer groups. Based on the data derived from these interactions, UCSF researchers will then rate the likelihood that a veteran has PTSD. These results will be compared against qualitative physician assessments that first require 6 months post-deployment waiting period to be seen as valid; these are the current standard of care.

"Our goal is to lower the barriers of access and stigma that prevent soldiers from receiving care, and aim to create a quantitative marker of the risk of PTSD persisting in an individual--something that has not existed and which is sorely needed if we're going to stop the ongoing crisis of soldier suicide, which currently claims 22 veterans each day," said Dr. Kim Norman, principal investigator for the study and a professor of psychiatry at UCSF. "Advanced technology such as cognitive computing could be a tremendous asset to clinicians in identifying and caring for this incredibly at-risk population."

There are more than 500 companies in the Watson Ecosystem; IBM has allocated $100 million in venture investment to support this group of startups that are powered by Watson. IBM notes that the rate at which companies are introducing cognitive computing and artificial intelligence-infused apps has tripled in less than a year.

- here is the announcement