Mark III Systems Blog

Mark III & Watson Health: Partnering in the Cognitive Era!

Mark III is very excited to be partnering with IBM Watson Health as part of a new Watson Health partner program.  To kick off our partnership, we recently attended a briefing and collaboration session at Watson Health HQ in Cambridge, MA.  Having initially grown up in the shadows of the Texas Medical Center over the past two decades (with clients now spanning across North America), healthcare is and continues to be our longest-tenured industry and one of the industries we have the deepest skills in support of.


Accordingly, we were incredibly excited about the vision and direction of Watson Health and how it fits with our unique capabilities in support of healthcare clients.


Watson Health, as of December 2016, currently comprises of the pillars of Watson for Oncology, Watson for Genomics, Clinical Trial Matching, Care Management, Population Health Management, and Imaging (Merge), as well as pillars that revolve more around life sciences, including Watson for Drug Discovery, Watson Health Core, and Watson Health for ResearchKit.  I say December 2016 because, if the last 18 months are any guide, IBM continues to add to the portfolio and I would imagine there could be more pillars and options in the near future.

For us, one of the best parts of our visit to Cambridge was the immersion room at the Watson Health Experience Center, which weaved together many of the key Watson Health pillars with healthcare-centric cognitive approaches to show how the overall care of an actual "example" cancer patient could be possibly improved.

If you ever have a chance to attend a briefing at Watson Health HQ, we would definitely recommend it.. it'll open up your eyes to what's possible now and over the next 5-10 years within healthcare.  It's not enough to simply have AI or a cognitive or deep learning system, but the need to surround it with the right types of partnerships, data, integrations, and domain expertise are critical and we love the strategy that Watson Health is employing.

With all that said, what unique complementary skills and experiences does Mark III bring to the table that can supplement the Watson Health story?

  • Developers, developers, developers:  If you're looking to build something specific to your institution with a certain UX or engagement model, whether it be using Watson Health Core or another Watson Health focused platform, our digital development arm can assist.  We've been working with the IBM development cloud for over 4 years (including Watson Ecosystem) and we can help you plan for or build what you're thinking of.  It will be fascinating to watch as more cognitive and AI-centric capabilities diffuse into the Watson Health portfolio and we can provide our perspectives and thoughts on that as it happens, including helping to build a prototype, if you're just brainstorming.
  • Unique blend of skills to support healthcare:  Among our staff is a 10-year veteran and former Director at a Research Institute of a large healthcare provider, and a PhD in Bioinformatics, along with our team of developers, architects, and engineers.  We pride ourselves on our "full stack" approach that's aligned with what institutions are trying to achieve in the digital and cognitive era (but with knowledge of the past and present), and this is just one example.
  • Optimization and enablement of existing core tech stacks: Most of these tech stacks are key current application sets (EMR/EHR, Imaging, ERP, Research, etc.) that currently run on-premise in a datacenter.  Since these key systems feed Watson, it's important that their foundation is strong, which includes anything from servers to storage to networking to virtualization at any layer to software tooling to middleware.  This is an area where our team of systems engineers and architects can definitely help ensure that your current strategy is strong so that you can capitalize on a future enabled by Watson Health.
  • Integrations:  Watson Health and hybrid digital strategies, in general, rely upon the ability to integrate together services and platforms in an open, yet secure, manner, which requires a blend of all the capabilities listed above.  Whether the need is to tie together APIs, connect the datacenter to other datacenters or the IBM Cloud, build your own cognitive platform, or optimize/refresh the IT infrastructure foundation for your EMR/EHR or Research/HPC, we have the unique capabilities and history to enable this.


Stay tuned!  We're incredibly excited about the future and I know we'll have some more exciting concepts and news to share in the near future around Watson Health.