In Calderdale – a borough in West Yorkshire, England -- more than 65% of adults are overweight or obese. To do something about it, IBM partnered with the local council to help tailor its health outreach and design specialized physical activity programs.
The Calderdale initiative is a pilot project of IBM's new Health Corps, which will bring IBM’s top talent and cognitive technologies to help communities address health challenges such as primary care gaps, health worker shortages, and access to safe water and nutritious food.
IBM will dispatch the company's leading innovators with expertise in data, analytics and artificial intelligence to work alongside public health leaders to understand their challenges and implement sustainable, data-driven solutions for health problems identified by the communities themselves.
It also recently announced a new grant program – much like its Smarter Cities Challenge – that will award five communities pro bono engagements valued at $500,000 to have IBM experts help them tackle tough public health challenges. Deadline is April 20; get details here.
Mind-blowing insights in Calderdale
In its Calderdale pilot, the Health Corps team – with help from IBM Watson -- used cognitive technology to analyze unstructured data, such as social workers’ case notes, to help officials identify the unique needs of vulnerable populations, including foster youth and elderly residents, to help them make better health decisions and increase their levels of physical activity.
"We’ve been fascinated during this project to see how Watson can be applied," said Merran McRae, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council Chief Executive. "We don’t tend to think of free-form text as a source of data for analysis, and our work with IBM has really broadened our minds as to what is data, what is information and how can we turn that into a usable insight to help guide our interventions. We found Watson absolutely mind-blowing."
Learn more about the work of IBM Health Corps in the video below.
This article is from the Council's Compassionate Cities initiative which highlights how city leaders and other stakeholders can leverage smart technologies to end suffering in their communities and give all citizens a route out of poverty. Click the Compassionate Cities box on our registration page to receive our weekly newsletter.
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