IBM has invested in Modernizing Medicine, a vendor of cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic health records systems and other technologies that capture structured data, track outcomes and deliver clinical decision support.

The investment (of undisclosed amount) in the Boca Raton, Fla.-based company was made to accelerate the adoption of Watson cognitive computing in healthcare, IBM executives said.

Also See: IBM Watson Targets Healthcare Consumers

It is the latest direct investment that IBM has made through its $100 million fund to seed Watson innovations. And, for Modernizing Medicine it caps $20 million in Series D funding, raising its overall funding total to $49 million.

Modernizing Medicine is the creator of the Electronic Medical Assistant (EMA), a specialty-specific EHR system, and provider of comprehensive specialty-specific billing, revenue, and inventory management solutions. The ICD-10 ready system is available for the dermatology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, urology and plastic and cosmetic surgery markets, and is used by more than 5,000 physicians. The Modernizing Medicine family of companies also provides specialty-specific billing, inventory management and group purchasing services.

The funding from IBM and other investors will help Modernizing Medicine accelerate market expansion in eight medical specialties, as well as enhance and expand its suite of solutions. This includes further development of schEMA, the company’s mobile app accessed through EMA that leverages the cognitive computing power of Watson to give physicians rapid clinical decision support at the point of care.

Available first in dermatology with future development planned for Modernizing Medicine’s other medical specialties, schEMA allows dermatologists to ask questions in natural language about possible symptoms and treatments, and within seconds receive an informed, evidence-based response, made possible by Watson’s ability to quickly query and identify relevant information contained in medical journals, research studies, and other documents.

“Modernizing Medicine is a great example of the breakthrough innovation we have seen from our partners who are building a new class of cognitive computing solutions powered by Watson,” said Stephen Gold, vice president, IBM Watson. “IBM’s investment will help speed the introduction of their schEMA app and demonstrates how Watson can be used by medical professionals to improve how they practice evidence-based medicine."

IBM has previously invested in genetic testing platform developer Pathway Genomics and health information optimization vendor Welltok as part of its strategy to expand Watson's reach in healthcare.

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