IBM Watson Health and MAP Health Management Partner to Curb Incidence of Substance Abuse Relapse in the United States

May 16, 2017  

Published in IBM's News Room, May 16, 2017. View the Press Release Here

MAP Health Management and IBM (NYSE: IBM) Watson Health today announced a partnership that aims to address the pervasive problem of relapse among Americans suffering from Substance Use Disorder, a chronic disease. MAP will integrate Watson cognitive technologies into the MAP Recovery Network Platform to enhance the platform’s existing capabilities around patient risk models. In doing so, it is anticipated that behavioral health and substance abuse treatment providers that use the MAP platform will be better able to predict and prevent incidence of relapse nationwide.

Addiction and substance abuse claim more than 125,0001 lives per year in the United States and result in economic costs of up to 7002 billion annually. More than 22.5 million Americans need help with a Substance Use Disorder and only 2.6 million Americans are receiving treatment3. Currently, many treatment programs do not provide sufficient support following acute treatment and lack a standardized means to collect data on long-term treatment program results4. MAP is helping to fill that gap, and believes that using near real-time data and technology will enable them to better understand which patients are at greatest risk of relapse.

“Addiction is the great crisis of our time. The current method of assessing, treating and paying for addiction and substance care isn’t sustainable. It’s time to leverage an advanced cognitive technology platform like IBM Watson to help make the right, evidence-based decisions to best treat those suffering from addiction. This could help patients manage their disease more effectively over the long term. Bringing Watson into MAP’s ecosystem has the potential to improve countless lives and reduce substance abuse costs. MAP and IBM Watson hope to make a huge impact,” said Jacob Levenson, CEO of MAP Health Management.

MAP’s platform is currently used to streamline clinical processes, promote better patient engagement, enable proactive care and optimize clinical and financial outcomes for behavioral health including Substance Use Disorder and addiction treatment. Since 2011, more than 40,000 individuals in the United States have benefitted from MAP’s support, data and technology. MAP has engaged over 200 providers and other professionals to improve behavioral health and addiction treatment. A minimum of 50,000 new individuals are expected to receive services in the next 12 months. MAP has also conducted over 300,000 telehealth sessions domestically through providing post-treatment recovery support. Embedding Watson technologies into the MAP platform will allow MAP platform users to unlock and more easily act upon insights from patient data that were previously hidden and overlooked.

For example, case notes from a treatment expert or care manager can often be omitted or lost as part of an increasingly automated treatment process because they are a form of unstructured data from which traditional tools cannot capture and extract value. A MAP platform that includes Watson functionalities has the ability to read such case notes, potentially allowing the MAP platform to surface insights for a clinician to consider when interacting with a patient.

Aetna Behavioral Health is expected to deploy the Watson-powered MAP offering to help predict substance abuse relapses among its members. MAP and Aetna are working together, in conjunction with addiction treatment providers, to collect and analyze patient data in order to more sufficiently develop treatment protocol and long-term strategies to support a patient’s ability to achieve and remain in recovery. The collection and application of these valuable outcomes data will help fill a current void in the addiction treatment field today and will drive better quality results across care continuums.

“The MAP and IBM collaboration promises to be a tremendous opportunity to leverage the power of Watson towards solving the scourge of opioid dependence and addiction now affecting so many people,” said Louise Murphy, head of Aetna Behavioral Health. “We look forward to continuing to work with MAP, and now IBM, to innovate and devise new methods for helping people struggling with addictions and comorbid behavioral health disorders achieve optimal emotional health and well-being.”

“IBM Watson Health and MAP have the potential to positively impact the tens of millions of people and families suffering from addiction in the United States,” said Kathy McGroddy-Goetz, VP of Partnerships and Solutions, IBM Watson Health. “MAP Health Management is widely recognized as having a robust addiction outcomes database. IBM’s Watson cognitive computing technology is a natural fit to further empower what MAP is doing to help improve qualitative and quantitative outcomes in the behavioral health and addiction treatment fields.”


About IBM Watson Health
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. In April 2015, the company launched IBM Watson Health and the Watson Health Core cloud platform (now Watson Platform for Health). The new unit will help improve the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers to innovate by surfacing insights from the massive amount of personal health data being created and shared daily. The Watson Platform for Health can mask patient identities and allow for information to be shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly growing aggregated view of clinical, research and social health data. For more information on IBM Watson, visit: For more information on IBM Watson Health, visit:

1 National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Alcohol Facts and Statistics, February 2017:
2 National Institute on Drug Abuse, Trends and Statistics, April 2017:
3 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, More Americans continue to receive mental health services, but substance use treatment levels remain low, September 2015:
4 National Institute on Drug Abuse, Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition), December 2012:

Media Contact
Kristi Bond
IBM Communications

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