To celebrate IBM's Centennial, the company is unveiling an "icon of progress" representing IBM's contributions to fighting infectious diseases and contributions to world health. From the first continuous blood separator which led to treatment for leukemia patients, the first heart lung machine to keep patients alive during surgery, to the excimer laser used in LASIK eye surgery, IBM has made vast contributions to the fields of health care and life sciences.
Today, one in every eight of the earth's inhabitants will be over 65 by 2030, and more than one billion people are overweight and another 388 million people will die in the next 10 years of a chronic disease. New ways to treat illnesses, battle major outbreaks and transform how health care is delivered around the world are critical for the health of populations and for the economic health of our communities.
Breakthroughs in nanotechnology, gene sequencing and even innovations in chip design will continue to improve health care around the world.
Recognizing World Health Day, IBM is also applying its expertise to address public health issues such as in Cross River State, Nigeria. Here biometric identification and solar energy are just a few of the technologies in use to provide access to free health care and reduce child and maternal mortality rates by a goal of 50 percent by the end of 2011.
Through the years, IBM has created hardware and applications specifically designed to improve care, diagnosis and treatment of disease, and advance how medical knowledge is shared:
Today, IBM is turning its focus to health care transformation, helping entire countries develop new patient-centric models of care, connecting health information and enabling deep analytics of medical data.
At the heart of any health care transformation are electronic health records, the basic building blocks of health care efficiency. IBM has a long history of creating and connecting systems to share patient information. When standardized and shared, electronic health records provide a powerful means of increasing accuracy and speeding the delivery of patient information to the point of care. They enable better collaboration, more complete records, and better service. Advanced health analytics provides new insight into the treatment of disease, can speed discovery of new drugs and therapies, and empowers health care providers with better information to improve care.
IBM's work to create smarter health care systems, optimized around the patient, is aimed at reducing medical errors, achieving better patient safety and quality outcomes and saving lives.
This year marks IBMs centennial and health care continues to be one of its most important areas of industry focus. The company spends more than $6B a year on R&D, much of it on health care, and IBM is one of the few technology companies with large teams of physicians and other clinicians on staff to ensure health care's most pressing needs are met.