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WellnessWits embeds IBM watsonx Assistant in app to improve access to chronic disease specialists

Throughout my years in medicine, many people have communicated their frustration with the healthcare-insurance system, the lack of deep care, and the inability to have care managed across providers and platforms. As a physician-informatician, I am passionate about bridging the gap between healthcare and technology. This is why I founded WellnessWits to create an innovative solution enhancing access to care, clinical efficiency, and better outcomes through Group Therapeutics™ technology, a unique virtual care solution with an end-to-end open platform for proactive population health and chronic disease management through virtual Shared Medical Visits. Today, I am delighted to share a step forward in WellnessWits’ technical journey - embedding IBM watsonx Assistant into the WellnessWits iOS and Android apps.

By embedding Generative AI into our platform and teaming with IBM Ecosystem Engineering, we are providing a new AI-powered chat functionality that can help patients gather information and insights about chronic disease while more easily scheduling appointments with physicians that specialize in their chronic condition.

Dr. Kike Oduba back stage at iHeartMedia Radio New York, during a Smart Talks with IBM podcast recording.

Dreams do come true: My journey from Nigeria to Houston, Texas

Growing up in Nigeria, I dreamed of studying medicine in the United States. There were certainly obstacles including the fact that our community did not have consistent electricity, but I received my Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Lagos. My studies then led me to The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston where I earned a Certificate in Public Health, followed by a Master’s Degree in Epidemiology and Public Health at Texas A&M University.

Now, let me tell you more about my journey in creating WellnessWits and why our platform matters in the telemedicine industry. I am the proud survivor of a chronic disease, specifically thyroid disease, and through this experience, I learned that social determinants of health can significantly impact access to quality care and how providers can be limited in their ability to provide needed resources to the chronically ill in a time-constrained one-on-one medical consultation. 

After joining several support groups online to further understand the social context of my illness, I found that shared lived experiences with other mothers in a 1.2 million-member strong Facebook group called “Hypothyroid Mom” was far more effective in aiding my journey towards remission and overall well-being than any interaction I had within a clinical environment. This revelation opened my eyes to the stark disconnection between the medical community and the wealth of patient experiences shared on online social platforms and inspired me to establish WellnessWits.

Why partnering with IBM is helping to position WellnessWits in telemedicine

I founded WellnessWits as a platform for shared medical appointments where doctors with large patient loads can see them in groups and offer collective shared medical experiences to people suffering from chronic conditions. The goal is to bridge this divide, leveraging the strength of digital communities to enhance the overall well-being and healthcare experiences of individuals everywhere.

During the early days of the platform I participated in the MassChallenge and IBM’s “First AI Cohort for Underrepresented Founders” program. This was my first opportunity to collaborate with IBM and allowed our platform and team to access AI and valuable insights as well as technical mentors within the IBM Ecosystem.

After formalizing my partnership with IBM by signing up via IBM Partner Plus, my team and I got straight to work with IBM Ecosystem Engineering. We were able to access IBM watsonx Assistant on IBM Cloud using credits and within a matter of months were able to embed Generative AI into our platform. This week’s new release, which is timed with World Diabetes Day, embeds IBM watsonx Assistant to help empower healthcare professionals with a way to digitize, standardize, and automate care plans for patients dealing with chronic diseases.

By combining the expertise of healthcare providers with the precision and efficiency of IBM watsonx Assistant, WellnessWits has created a transformative platform that connects patients with their communities and facilitates personalized, high-quality care in a clinical setting.

Scaling WellnessWits across multiple states and countries

Our goal is to extend WellnessWits’ impact far beyond diabetes management and we are committed to addressing chronic diseases and pain syndromes including cancer, chronic pain, mental health, and obesity.

Currently, my team is focused on serving medium to large-sized private specialty clinics, facilitating group therapeutics for chronic disease patients. However, we envision a future where our impact extends on a global scale.

By partnering with IBM, and academic leaders in institutions like The University of Texas, we aim to extend our reach and impact.

I’m also excited to share that WellnessWits (DBA WITS Healthcare in Nigeria) has begun partnering with the former President of Nigeria’s Foundation, the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation. Together, we have launched the Diabetes IQ Program to help make healthcare affordable and accessible for all Africans. We are using the power of advanced technology and community support to address the growing diabetes crisis in Nigeria.

Mrs Bola Obasanjo, wife of former president of Nigeria, Dapo Oduba, Dr. Kike Oduba, Bima Abdul

With WellnessWits app and IBM watsonx Assistant in its core, the platform offers a solution that healthcare professionals can use to deliver personalized care plans, digitize patient records, and standardize diabetes management protocols.

Our Houston, Texas-based team continues to build our community of doctors across medical specialties. Doctors can invite patients to join the WellnessWits app, or general consumers can download the app to connect with a doctor in Texas, California, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and Mississippi.

By the way, the Wits in WellnessWits stands for Wisdom, Integrity, Trust and Service, and that’s what we stand by!

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