The Avamere Family of Companies, a group of independent health care providers dedicated to seniors, is piloting IBM’s Watson to explore its ability to capture resident data and better inform and better shape care delivery.
 
Together with IBM Accessibility Research, Avamere, based in Wilsonville, OR, has embarked on a six-month project that will use Watson’s data interpretation capabilities to decide how best to care for individual patients. The pilot will involve hundreds of people in Avamere’s independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing settings and in its Infinity Rehab arm, according to a March 28, 2017, article in Senior Housing News.
 
“We’re really just looking to learn more about where patients should be in the continuum, based on their rate of recovery,” said Infinity Rehab President Mike Billings in the article, Avamere Pilots IBM ‘Watson’ Tech for Precision Senior Care. “We might have patients that are better served in home health rather than skilled nursing.”
 
The pilot will use Avamere’s historical, de-identified patient data, plus real-time data from sensors. Most sensors will be set in residents’ rooms and will collect data related to behavior and health, such as movement, gait analysis, factors that could lead to fall risk, and daily activities, including personal hygiene, sleeping patterns, incontinence and trips to the bathroom.
 
For example, disturbed sleep could alert caretakers to a fall risk that could be prevented, wrote John W. Morgan, CEO of Avamere Family of Companies, on IBM Accessibility's Age & Ability blog. IBM’s analysis of this streaming sensor data will give Avamere a contextual understanding of its residents that will lead to enhanced patient care models, efficiencies for clinicians, and transformation of post-acute care delivery and outcomes, he wrote.
 
“This is cognitive learning software, so it will identify trends and hopefully highlight things within our data that we either don’t know or haven’t been able to dice out,” Morgan is quoted as saying in Senior Housing News. “[That should] provide us insights into patient needs and how to become more effective, efficient, and directed in how we provide care.”
 
The pilot will collect data for six months and then analyze it. By late 2017 or early 2018, Avamere and/or IBM may be in a position to roll out expanded offerings.