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UnitedHealth, Mayo Clinic form alliance to merge medical data

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UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Mayo Clinic, two of the largest health care giants based in Minnesota, are teaming up to create Optum Labs, a collaborative research facility designed to discover more efficient ways to deliver patient care, Bloomberg reports. The alliance will based in an “innovation center” in Cambridge, Mass., and have about 60 workers.

“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," John Noseworthy, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic, said in a news release.

The Wall Street Journal notes the project will involve analyzing millions of health-insurance claims and patient records from the two organizations. The data will be cleared of any information that could identify patients.

“We are bringing together our assets, technology, tools, and research scientists in a dedicated facility,” Stephen Hemsley, chief executive officer of Minnetonka, Minnesota-based UnitedHealth, told Bloomberg. “This is the beginning. We want to create an innovation center for the health care industry to make an impact for the benefit of individual patients and to contribute to the overall improvement of care.”

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