WaRM: Developing IBM's Watson System to Provide Insight Using RAI-MDS Continuing Care Data

Ted Kirkpatrick


The Resident Assessment Instrument Minimum Data Set (RAI-MDS) is used by health authorities for collecting information about individuals in continuing care facilities. Collected quarterly, RAI-MDS records contain more than 500 data elements, including cognition, psychosocial well-being, health conditions, communication, physical function, and activity patterns. Thus it has the potential to provide an incomparable quantitative view on the lives of the oldest and most vulnerable Canadians. This project seeks to tackle the problem of how to perform exploratory data analysis on such a complex set of data. This exploration is aided by IBM’s Watson, a powerful Question Answering system capable of searching vast amounts of information and performing multiple forms of data analysis. By integrating RAI-MDS and Watson with computational modelling and visual analysis, the result of this research will empower health authorities, residential care facilities, and other stakeholders to analyze critical issues, such as how to allocate resources in order to best improve the lives of residents.