IBM Watson Health at ICIC17

Congratulations to Nick and his entire team for another successful ICIC! It is an accomplishment in itself to be in the 17th year of the event, but having the most registrants to date speaks volumes to the impact and increasing relevance of integrated care.

This year’s theme was particularly critical for our team in IBM Watson Health and especially proud to continue our strong partnership with IFIC. “Building a platform for integrated care: delivering change that matters to people” tightly aligns with the mission of Watson Health, a message that rang true throughout the conference, including the four sessions we hosted in Dublin.

To summarize, the pre-event workshops on Monday included a session exploring three examples of Design Thinking. This allowed the attendees and speakers the opportunity to engage three perspectives on design methodology. Professor John Eastwood shared three specific projects in Australia presenting their work supporting vulnerable families. Igor Zabala Rementeria from the Basque Health Service described how the methodology was used to generate 52 proposed actions to address areas of improvement. Finally, Padraig Mannion, a Lead Designer in Watson Health, provided an overview of IBM’s approach to Design Thinking with a specific case study on the user experience of a child welfare case worker.

Continuing on Monday, immediately following the opening keynote in O’Reilly Hall, Bernie Flaherty, Director of Adult Social Services at Harrow Council. Mrs. Flaherty described the innovative personal budget solution that was developed by the council. This solution is already achieving tremendous results including financial savings, improved choice for citizens, and perhaps most importantly, positively impacting the lives served. This foundation has led to a first of a kind partnership with Watson Health to further develop our care management solution called Watson Care Manager (WCM).

In one of Tuesday’s lunchtime workshops, Rory O’Connor and I shared how cognitive computing can support the “third care pathway”. This is described as a person-centric service delivery model where health and social care are provided in an integrated and coordinated way to improve outcomes right from the beginning of its design and execution. Integrated care can be achieved via one of three paths: evolving from the health care sector, from the social care sector or starting right from the beginning with an integrated care approach which we have labeled the third care pathway. Watson Health is making concerted efforts to support this third, integrated care pathway.

For a post-event study tour on Thursday, we continued the discussion off of the UCD campus at the IBM Technology Campus northwest of Dublin. In this session, a small group engaged on a “mini” design thinking agenda, condensing what normally would be covered over days or weeks, into hours. This interactive and fun exercise combined the education and activates required to generate a “who, what, wow” of an integrated care scenario – the thought-provoking result of the day.

Thanks again to all of you who joined us in Dublin! If you have any questions, please reach out to me or learn more at:

Dr. Hector Upegui,
IBM Watson Health