IBM's Watson supercomputer teaming with Denver-based WellTok

TechCrunch looked at IBM's partnership with Denver-based social-health startup WellTok.


With bring-Watson-to-market projects flush with capital, IBM’s big plans for its Jeopardy-winning computer have begun to take shape in the form of a new character: Dr. Watson. Today, further evidence of Watson’s future in healthcare arrived in the form of the Watson Group’s first venture investment, which saw it take the lead in the $22.1 million Series C financing of social health management startup, WellTok.

Since emerging in 2009, Denver-based WellTok has been on a mission to provide businesses with better ways to incentivize their employees to actually participate (and engage with) in company wellness plans. The startup offers a suite of Web and mobile social media-based solutions, as well as a social health management platform, to help health plans “consumerize” their services. In other words, by leveraging the ease-of-use, accessibility and cross-platform functionality now available in so many consumer-facing products, Welltok wants to help providers, and companies themselves, improve the user experience of their health plans and the health of their employees.

For Watson Group and IBM, the interest in WellTok is simple: Healthcare and healthcare applications are where they believe Watson can potentially have the biggest impact. In part, IBM is betting that the computer system’s technology could herald a new era of predictive analytics in healthcare. In other words, by instantaneously scanning millions of studies and academic records, for example, Watson’s technology could allow doctors to quickly find better treatment options for their patients.

Read more articles by Eric Peterson.

Eric is a Denver-based tech writer and guidebook wiz. Contact him here.
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