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Moving Towards a Brighter Future: IBM’s Investment in Modernizing Medicine

On March 19, 2015, the International Business Machine Corporation (IBM) announced its undisclosed investment with Modernizing Medicine that caps at $20 million dollars.  Modernizing Medicine is a fast growing South Florida based company with about 180 employees and $17.5 million in revenue.  Recently recognized on Red Herring’s Top 100 North America list as a top private company expected to be successful in the near future, Modernizing Medicine is the creator of a cloud-based, electronic medical record (EMR) system called the electronic medical assistant system (EMA).  Powered by Watson, this patient care application is used by more than 5,000 physicians and encompasses various medical specialties: dermatology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, urology and plastic and cosmetic surgery markets.  The EMA system enables physicians to treat patients efficiently and allows for the improvement of healthcare by analyzing massive amounts of published medical data, tracking outcomes, and providing clinical decision support. 

IBM’s investment aims to help Modernizing Medicine accelerate its market expansion, and to help promote and grow the IBM Watson unit.  Daniel Cane, the co-founder of Modernizing Medicine, believes that the partnership with IBM is an “exciting milestone” that provides Modernizing Medicine the ability to deliver and enhance specific solutions to healthcare providers.   

The IBM Watson unit was launched in January 2014 with the purpose of bringing cloud-delivered cognitive applications to the surface.  This technology is unique in that it not only stores data and understands complex questions, but it also self-develops knowledge and value through interactions.  The Watson unit has successfully been put into practice in other industries.  For example, IBM has partnered with WellPoint, the University of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, amongst others.  In regards to the partnership with Modernizing Medicine, Vice president of IBM Watson, Stephen Gold commented:

“Modernizing Medicine is a great example of the breakthrough innovation we have seen from our partners who are building a new class of cognitive computing solutions powered by Watson. . . . IBM’s investment will help speed the introduction of their schEMA app and demonstrates how Watson can be used by medical professionals to improve how they practice evidence-based medicine.”

The EMA system is available for use in the United States through mobile devices, iPads, and even through Macs or PCs.  To this day, Modernizing Medicine has raised $49 million dollars with an expectancy of $50 million in revenue for 2015.

Cindy Medina is a currently 2L at DePaul University College of Law. She would like to focus her career on Health Law after graduation.