By Bruce Japsen, Forbes | September 10, 2019
The Mayo Clinic and Google are partnering to accelerate the delivery of healthcare “through digital technologies.”
Mayo said its selection of “Google Cloud” is designed to be “the cornerstone of its digital transformation” as part of a 10-year partnership with Google, a unit of Alphabet. Financial terms of the deal announced Tuesday weren’t disclosed but Google will be making a sizable investment in the relationship by opening a new office in Rochester, where Mayo is based, so its engineers can work closely with Mayo researchers, doctors and data scientists.
“Health care is one of the most important fields that technology will help transform over the next decade, and it’s a major area of investment for Google,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement. “By pairing the Mayo Clinic’s world-class clinical expertise with our capabilities in AI and cloud computing, we have an extraordinary opportunity to develop services that will significantly improve lives.”
Mayo has relationships with government health programs, health plans and medical care providers around the world, drawing from a global base of patients seeking care at the noted medical center. “Mayo will use advanced cloud computing, data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to redefine health care delivery, bringing together global providers and consumers to make health care better,” Mayo and Google said in a joint press release.
Given how well-known Mayo is, the announcement could elevate Google in what is becoming a competitive business of healthcare data analytics with many players. A recent report pegged the global predictive healthcare analytics market alone to reach nearly $8 billion by 2025.
Microsoft, IBM, Adobe, and other tech giants are forming partnerships with big healthcare companies and health insurers led by UnitedHealth Group’s Optum health services business are also investing huge sums of money in using data and related technology to improve outcomes and medical care delivery.
“With one of the most robust sources of clinical insights in the world, Mayo Clinic is well-positioned to lead digital transformation in health care,” Mayo Clinic chief information officer Christopher Ross said. “Our partnership will propel a multitude of AI projects currently spearheaded by our scientists and physicians, and will provide technology tools to unlock the value of data and deliver answers at a scale much greater than today.”
The announcement comes as healthcare costs continue to rise and medical care providers are pressed by health insurers and government health programs to make sure patients get cost-effective health care in the right place, at the right time and in the right amount.
Mayo is known for such a value-based approach and has already been a trend-setter in that regard, but executives say they want Google to help “transform the way it advances virtual care with AI enabled digital diagnostics” and “boost its ability to conduct medical research.” Increasingly, healthcare providers are looking to data analytics and technology companies to create machine-learning models in medical care that will improve treatment by more precisely.
“As health care embraces digital innovation, management and analysis of complex data will become increasingly important,” Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said. “We look forward to helping the renowned medical center transform health care to serve patients around the world.”