Mayo Clinic and Optum Launch a New Care Research Facility

Mayo Clinic and Optum formed a new research collaboration aimed at studying advancements in patient care. Cambridge, Mass.-based Optum Labs will be open to participation from researchers in the health care, life sciences, government and academic fields.

Optum is comprised of three companies and employs more than 35,000 people worldwide. It will allow analysts to mine its large datasets of claims information, which will be studied alongside of Mayo’s clinical knowledge.

Mayo and Optum said that current research projects include finding the best treatment measurements for chronic myelogenous leukemia, creating applications that examine the cost-effectiveness of medical devices, and looking at ways to improve the diagnosis of Hepatitis C. Optum Labs will also emphasize research on the effectiveness of patient care programs.

David Cook, MD, a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist, demonstrated Mayo’s own new approach to patient hospital and follow-up care at the Health 2.0 Annual Conference in October (see the video above). The Mayo Health Connection is an iPad app that presents patients with best practice care plans to be followed while they’re in the hospital. Patients are told their expected daily regimen while they’re in the facility as well as when they get out.

“Mayo is really stepping outside of its comfort zone to look for partners to deliver this sort of actionable knowhow to the marketplace,” Cook said of Mayo Health Connection.

Mayo Clinic’s effort to form partnerships like these isn’t conventional. Hospital systems are typically characterized as slow moving, and even perceived as unenthusiastic, when it comes to experimenting with health IT. Mayo Clinic’s partnership with Optum affirms that Mayo is on the lookout for partners, even if it is a little uncomfortable.