IBM Watson–Relapse Reduction

IBM Watson recently joined forces with MAP Health Management to fight substance abuse in the U.S. The partnership will focus on preventing past abusers from relapsing.

Over 22.5 million Americans are caught in the snare of addiction, and of those, only 2.6 million are receiving treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that the economic cost of substance abuse–related to crime, lost work productivity and health care–is near $700 billion. In 2015, opioid abuse claimed more American lives than car crashes and gun homicides combined.

Jacob Levenson, CEO of MAP, described addiction as the “great crisis of our time.” He reported that the current method of “assessing, treating and paying for … care isn’t sustainable.” He believes that using “advanced cognitive technology” like Watson, will improve treatment decisions, leading to improved long-term management for those suffering.

Aetna Behavioral Health is planning to use MAP’s system to predict substance abuse relapses. The goal is to gather and analyze patient data in order to create long-term strategies to help patients reach and stay in recovery.