CANADA – IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Medical Confidence are collaborating to help patients access specialist treatment across Canada more quickly and effectively. Medical Confidence created a directory of physician specialists to serve as a healthcare navigator that stores and updates health specialist information on the IBM Cloud and leverages IBM Watson analytics to match patients with a specialist based on a variety of factors, including patient’s medical need, geographic location, specialist’s area of practice, and availability.

Medical Confidence adopted IBM Cloud to host this directory based upon its ability to scale and the access it provides to AI capabilities like Watson analytics and IBM Blockchain Hyperledger technology to validate who has access to this sensitive data. By integrating AI and predictive analytics with evidence-based health measurements, Medical Confidence can connect patients to care and efficiently navigate Canada’s network of specialist physicians.

According to a 2018 report from the Frasier Institute, specialist physicians surveyed reported a wait time of almost 20 weeks between referral from a general practitioner to receipt of treatment. In a more recent Frasier Institute report, these long waits were estimated to cost more than USD2.1 billion annually in lost wages. To minimize the wait time, Medical Confidence developed a service hosted on IBM Cloud that allows patients to overcome the obstacles and delays experienced in the Canadian healthcare system. Additionally, Medical Confidence takes advantage of higher value technologies, including AI, to enhance the user experience.

“We looked at quite a few cloud providers and found that IBM Cloud is at the top in terms of security,” says Bogdan Stanescu, Medical Confidence Co-owner and Chief Technology Officer. “Plus, it’s quite easy to grow with IBM as it integrates new products and open source components in its offering.”

Available directly, or through an employee’s benefits program or insurer, Medical Confidence helps connect patients with dedicated professionals who guide them through the healthcare process, including helping to identify the optimal specialist from a network of nearly 16,000 specialists across Canada. On average, users of this solution were able to meet with the doctor for an initial appointment 74 days faster, complete the prescribed treatment 220 days quicker, and for those on disability leave - return to work six months sooner than patients navigating the system on their own.

The IBM Cloud team worked closely with Medical Confidence to address rigorous industry requirements for storing medical data. IBM provided critical insights into industry needs for Medical Confidence’s insurance company customers to support compliance with regulatory requirements. Together, Medical Confidence and IBM created a flexible cloud hosting environment in IBM Cloud data centers in Montreal and Toronto.

“Implementing a cloud strategy enables organizations to balance scalability and agility with data security and regulatory requirements - an area that is especially critical in the medical field, said Frank Attaie, VP IBM Cloud. “By hosting its directory in IBM Cloud data centers, Medical Confidence is able to provide the necessary security and infuse AI into its workflow to enhance the user experience.”

Medical Confidence is also working with a research and development group at the IBM Toronto Software Lab, allowing the company to explore new open source technologies and collaborate with experts from Canadian colleges and universities.

About Medical Confidence:

Established in 2009 and headquartered in Ontario, Medical Confidence works to provide Canadian consumers with access to timely, expert specialist care. The company maintains Canada’s most comprehensive database of medical professionals — including nearly 16,000 specialists across more than 800 sub-specializations — and offers step-by-step guidance to help patients identify and connect with the optimal resource for treatment.

About IBM:

For more information on IBM Cloud, visit: ibm.com/cloud.

Media contact:

Alicia Ali
IBM External Communications
Alicia.Ali@ibm.com