1A Look at the First IBM Health Corps Grant Recipients
2American Cancer Society (ACS)
Very few cancer patients in sub-Saharan Africa receive chemotherapy; this deficiency results in lower cancer survival rates than in developed countries. In fact, sub-Saharan Africa’s cancer burden is projected to increase 85 percent in the next 15 years. IBM will help create a chemotherapy-forecasting tool that may allow ACS; ministries of health in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Uganda, and other global health partners to increase the availability and lower the cost of cancer treatments. Better data and predictive analytics in a chemotherapy forecasting tool also will help improve price negotiations with medicine suppliers.
IBM will work with Duke Health to establish a framework for an analytics platform that will help users from health, business, public and other sectors share their health improvement efforts with each other and measure the impact of their efforts on community health. North Carolina ranks 36th for overall health nationally and 38th for premature death. “Deepening our understanding of health disparities, and the factors that drive them, is a central objective of the Duke Center for Community and Population Health Improvement,” said Dr. Eugene Washington, chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University and president and CEO of the Duke University Health System.
4Gorgas Memorial Institute, Panama
Panama has seen recent outbreaks of Zika and Chikungunya viruses, as well as the re-emergence of dengue fever, but the country lacks a real-time surveillance system for relaying timely information from field investigators to researchers and health officials. IBM will design a mobile application that will enable public health field investigators to collect and send geo-located information on disease outbreaks and mosquito breeding sites to the Ministry of Health.
RAD-AID’s goal is to improve and optimize access to medical imaging and radiology in poor and developing regions of the world. According to the World Health Organization, nearly half the world has little or no radiology services. IBM Health Corps will work with RAD-AID on their implementation of Picture Archiving and Communication Systems—a medical imaging technology needed for information storage—and develop a maturity model for advancing radiological services. IBM will recommend a framework for increasing digital radiology capacity in RAD-AID’s partner countries, including secure cloud-based storage of radiological scans.
6Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
The Taiwan CDC said dengue fever outbreaks have surged in the country over the past two years and are expected to worsen in the coming years. IBM Health Corps will apply predictive analytics to identify regions at greater risk and help the Taiwan CDC set priorities for dengue vaccination and mosquito control. IBM’s model will use data from death registries, weather observations, climate projections, socioeconomic studies and health insurance claims. This approach also might be used to track other mosquito-borne diseases.