IBM and Welltok Transform Benefit and Health Management for Employees

Roll Out of Watson-Powered Health "Concierge" Delivers Personalized Guidance

Companies Developing First Cognitive Health Apple Watch App

Nov 12, 2015, 08:30 ET from Welltok, Inc.

DENVER, Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Welltok today announced the successful rollout of a Watson-powered version of the CafeWell Health Optimization Platform™ to IBM employees, leveraging the power of cognitive computing to help revolutionize how IBM manages health resources and engages employees.

IBM employees can benefit from the CafeWell platform, which organizes IBM's 36 disparate partners, including five health insurance carriers, flexible spending accounts and retirement programs. Employees are able to access a single, engaging and user-friendly experience that provides personalized insights and on-demand guidance on health and wellness via the web, smartphones, and soon the Apple Watch.

"IBM has truly partnered with us to innovate and leverage the power of our Health Optimization Platform for its broader needs," said Jeff Margolis, chairman and chief executive officer for Welltok. "Together, we are moving the needle on employee health by improving program and resource visibility and access, delivering a unified and engaging consumer experience, and rewarding employees for optimizing multiple dimensions of their lives."

By combining CafeWell with Watson's ability to understand natural language and learn with each interaction, the CafeWell Concierge app becomes knowledgeable about a user's health status, available benefits, preferences and behaviors, and can then deliver highly personalized and actionable recommendations. Effectively, it integrates the information from an individual's self-selected benefits plan with personalized health data, such as from a wearable fitness tracker (preferred foods, steps taken or hours slept in a day).

Further, it can understand complex questions in natural language and provide relevant responses on a wide-range of health and wellness topics such as health coverage, healthy living, condition management, and much more. Using text or voice functionality, it intelligently answers questions such as:

  • How long can I stay in the hospital post-partum?
  • Where can I get a low cholesterol meal?
  • When is the next weight management coaching session?

"The future of health and wellness is all about the individual, and Watson has the potential to help deliver on the promise of personalized health," said Kyu Rhee, IBM's chief health officer. "IBM and other large employers now have the opportunity to use cognitive computing to enable employees to make decisions that could help improve the health and wellbeing of their workforce. We are continuing our long-standing commitment to employee health and wellness innovation by providing a Watson-based cognitive app to our employees."

The CafeWell platform was first introduced to IBM employees in spring 2015 as a personalized, interactive destination to self-navigate resources, get rewarded for healthy behaviors and obtain support managing health conditions. When provided access to the platform, IBM employees increased their use of company-sponsored health and wellness programs, demonstrating action to optimize their health.

History of Firsts
Welltok and IBM are also co-developing the first cognitive health and wellness app for the Apple Watch. The app, which is expected to be available early next year, will encourage a dialogue about health with the user and prompt important behaviors, such as taking medicine, becoming more active or staying connected to family and friends.

As a charter IBM Watson Ecosystem partner, Welltok was one of the first to use Watson APIs to develop a cognitive application. Welltok was also the first recipient of a direct venture investment from IBM Watson Group, made through its $100 million fund to seed Watson innovations.

About Welltok, Inc.
Welltok Inc., developer of the healthcare industry's first consumer enterprise platform, is transforming the way population health managers guide and incentivize consumers to optimize their health. The CafeWell Health Optimization Platform organizes the growing spectrum of health improvement and condition management resources, obtains unparalleled consumer insights through advanced analytics and leverages cognitive computing to create personalized, adaptive health itineraries. Health plans and other sponsors now have an efficient and effective way to engage, activate and reward consumers, which drives greater healthcare value across all types of populations, from kids to seniors. Follow Welltok on Twitter @Welltok

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing
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. With the help of Watson, developers and partners are building apps and services that harness the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

IBM continues to build on its strengths in cognitive computing, analytics, security and cloud with IBM Watson Health and the Watson Health Cloud platform. This unit is helping improve the ability of doctors, researchers, health plans and individuals to innovate by surfacing new insights from the massive amounts of personal health data being created daily. The Watson Health Cloud allows this information to be anonymized, shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly growing aggregated view of clinical, research and social health data.

Media Contacts:
Erica Sniad Morgenstern

IBM Watson Health
Christine Douglass

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SOURCE Welltok, Inc.