Austin’s MAP Health Teams Up With Watson For Better Data Analytics

Austin—MAP Health Management, an Austin health IT and telehealth company, is partnering with IBM Watson to use analytics to better treat patients with substance abuse problems.

The partnership is designed to fill a gap in long-term care for recovering addicts. The companies will use data analytics to understand which patients are at greatest risk of relapse and to administer more tailored treatment plans that may keep them on track.

“Utilizing cognitive technology like IBM Watson helps us to best treat those with substance abuse disorders,” says Jacob Levenson, MAP Health’s CEO.

MAP’s software acts like a case management platform that can create an ecosystem of data around the patient, even after he or she has left care that provided daily monitoring, he added. The information monitored includes claims data and electronic health records, which would have data on medication, length of stay, family dynamic information, and substance abuse history, among other details.

“Watson will enable us to structure data from case notes and conversations, which enhances our ability to identify risk,” Levenson says.

MAP Health says that more than 22.5 million Americans need help with a substance abuse disorder but only 2.6 million of them are receiving treatment. Levenson says that current treatment programs do not provide sufficient support following acute treatment, such as residential programs. There’s not a standardized means to collect data over the long-term in order to analyze the effectiveness of those programs, he says.

One way MAP Health stays in touch with patients once they are on their own is through telehealth sessions with certified peer-to-peer advocates two to four times a month.

Another way is through partnerships with other health companies, such as one announced last month with Lief Therapeutics, which makes a patch that monitors heart rate and breathing—a way to measure anxiety. Levenson says that 40 percent of recovering addicts have an anxiety disorder and that elevated stress levels could indicate a possible return to substance abuse.

Levenson says the goal is to analyze the data to compute a “risk for relapse” level that can monitor risk in real time. Many of the company’s clients are insurance providers, such as Aetna Behavioral Health, that seek to reduce costs through such data analytics. Other customers include addiction treatment centers.

MAP Health was founded in 2011 and currently employs 110 people in 11 states, with Austin as its headquarters. Levenson says the firm has not taken any outside funding so far.

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