Outcomes research will get a boost from an Optum / Mayo Clinic collaboration

Optum Labs will run analytics on millions of claims and clinical records to find improved outcomes

“Our strategic research alliance with Optum Labs will leverage what we believe to be the largest combined source of clinical and claims information, providing a more comprehensive picture of patients’ diagnoses, progression of diseases, comparative treatments and outcomes,” said John Noseworthy, MD, CEO of Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), in announcing the undertaking. According to press reports, Mayo will bring over five million clinical records, going back 15 years, while Optum (a healthcare analytics part of the insurer UnitedHealth Group, based in Minneapolis) will bring claims records of 100 million patients spanning 20 years. Together, using the latest “big data” analytics techniques, the partners will attempt to gain insights into optimal treatments, variations in care and comparative effectiveness of therapies. Unlike the outcomes research being developed at HHS, however, Optum Labs will be free to look at cost effectiveness of therapies as well. The collaboration is based in Cambridge, MA, and is open to participation from academic institutions, life sciences companies, commercial and government payers.