SAN FRANCISCO and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM Watson Health (NYSE: IBM) and Tiatros Inc, a digital health company, today announced that the Tiatros-enabled post-traumatic stress disorder programs achieved up to 73% completion rate for veterans who begin the PTSD sessions. The Tiatros Post Traumatic Growth for Veterans is a Tiatros psychotherapy program designed as a secure social network to support veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The program connects veterans with their peers online, in a platform that is designed to reduce barriers to access and deliver evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy that is personalized to each individual, with help from Watson APIs.
While a full scope of quantitative study results are still forthcoming, the Tiatros program could have important implications for this at-risk population. Studies have estimated that 70-80 percent of veterans can recover when they complete a program and yet less than 10% do so in the first year after diagnosis.1
There are 19 million veterans in the United States -- nearly 3 million who are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan1, and one in five veterans of these wars suffer from PTSD2. Federal health authorities have determined that roughly 4,000 areas in the U.S. have a critical shortage of mental health professionals, while the majority of counties in the U.S. have no services offered by licensed behavioral health clinicians.3
In 2016, Tiatros developers began using the Watson Personality Insights and Watson Tone Analyzer APIs to support analytics within Tiatros' behavioral health programs. Every week, each participant authors and shares three narratives. Using Watson Personality Insights, Tiatros analyzes these submissions to measure and monitor the evolution, openness, optimism, and joyfulness of participants. Participants also share and comment on these writings, and the Watson Tone Analyzer is used to monitor the emotions associated with these interactions. Currently, this data is presented to the program facilitators who integrate related insights into their ongoing communications with the participants.
"We are hopeful about the promise that AI tools hold to help us personalize how we care for veterans with PTSD, and scale our ability to provide successful interventions," said psychiatrist Kim Norman, MD, whose research program studies the use of scalable programs for behavioral health. "PTSD is a very challenging field and veterans face a lot of barriers to access that too often prevent them from receiving or completing a care program. We want to transform how we deliver care to them, delivering personalized, relevant content for each individual and using AI technologies to help make this possible."
"Mental health is one of the most significant determinants of overall health, and innovators like Tiatros are pioneering the cognitive tools that will help scale successful programming to each individual in need," said Kyu Rhee, MD, chief health officer, IBM Watson Health. "The Tiatrosresiliency programs, especially with their emphasis on technology-enabled peer groups, are a perfect example of the AI opportunity in healthcare. AI can enable medical professionals to scale what they do without sacrificing security and privacy and we are proud to be part of this novel program."
Unique to this collaboration is a father-son relationship. Both of Dr. Norman's sons are veterans of the Global War on Terror. The older, Seth Norman, an Army combat veteran and Bronze Star recipient, served as a Platoon Leader throughout two deployments to Iraq, and now leads the Tiatros® Post Traumatic Growth for Veterans program.
 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2015 Profile of Veterans: https://www.va.gov/vetdata/docs/SpecialReports/Profile_of_Veterans_2015.pdf
About Tiatros Inc.
Tiatros was founded in 2011 to harness the power of digital technology to improve the practice of behavioral health care. Tiatros provides evidence-based programs that leverage the power of peer groups and private social networks to mitigate stigma, optimize convenience and deliver unprecedented outcomes and completion rates. Tiatros creates compassionate, private social environments where individuals who share health challenges, experiences and goals come together to learn, grow and support one another. Tiatros' initial behavioral health programs run for eight weeks, and then the participants have access to an ongoing social support environment that includes refresher training and exercises. Participants come online every day to read and contribute to the associated discussions. Tiatros is making healing social. For more information about Tiatros, or to register for a program visit: www.tiatros.com.
About Watson Health
Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing capability representing a new era in computing. The system, delivered through the cloud, analyzes high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language, and proposes evidence-based answers. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. In April 2015, the company launched IBM Watson Health and the Watson Health Core cloud platform (now Watson Platform for Health). The new unit will help improve the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers to innovate by surfacing insights from the massive amount of personal health data being created and shared daily. The Watson Platform for Health can mask patient identities and allow for information to be shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly growing aggregated view of clinical, research and social health data. For more information on IBM Watson, visit: ibm.com/watson. For more information on IBM Watson Health, visit: ibm.com/watsonhealth.
IBM Media Relations
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