Mayo Clinic, Alphabet’s Verily partner to build clinical decision support tools

Dive Brief:

  • Academic medical giant Mayo Clinic and Alphabet’s life sciences arm Verily are partnering to develop clinical decision support tools, the two companies announced Thursday.
  • For the two year collaboration, Mayo — already two years into a 10-year R&D partnership with Verily sister company Google — will provide clinical information, while Verily will apply its analytics and product development services to create insights that can be integrated into the provider workflow.
  • The two plan to initially focus on a set of cardiovascular and cardiometabolic conditions.

Dive Insight:

Verily and Mayo cited the exponential growth in medical knowledge that makes it difficult for doctors to keep up with the latest advances in care recommendations and protocol as the reason for co-developing new decision support products.

The tool, available for clinicians at the point of care, will provide evidence-based knowledge on disease management, care guidelines and treatment options to help doctors make decisions, the companies said.

The hope is that it will be used as a sort of “GPS for patient care,” Bradley Leibovich, medical director of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Digital Health, said in a Thursday statement.

The tool will be developed based on a wide variety of relevant data sources, including deidentified health record data, and will use open standards to enable integration with multiple commercial electronic health records, according to the companies.

It will first be deployed at Mayo Clinic facilities before becoming available to Verily’s health system partners and customers.

The new partnership comes shortly after news that Google is dissolving its health division after three years as its chief, David Feinberg, departs to become CEO of EHR vendor Cerner. Google will split Google Health’s projects and teams across several other segments of the company in a bid to improve execution, according to executives.

Mayo has said that the reorganization will not affect the decade-long cloud storage and development agreement with Google launched in 2019.

Health systems are increasingly partnering with resource-heavy tech companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft as they move trillions of data points to the cloud and look for ways to leverage that data to improve care delivery and cut costs. Such R&D agreements have come under fire in the past (notably, the data-sharing project between Google and Ascension in 2019), though using medical data to develop new product lines without patient consent is legal under current law.

However, demand for such tools, including in the area of clinical decision support, is rising as doctors look to keep up with rapidly shifting medical knowledge and recommendations.

Startups selling clinical decision support software are reporting booming funding, raising $1.1 billion in the first half of 2021, according to Mercom Capital Group. That’s more than double the amount raised in the first half of 2020.

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