Pfizer, Tufts Among Seven Partners Announced for Optum Labs

The announcement follows the recent addition of AARP as founding consumer advocate organization of the collaborative.

The collaborative research and innovation center founded by Optum and Mayo Clinic, Optum Labs, announced the addition of seven new charter partners committed to improving the quality and value of patient care.

Optum Labs participants will have access to information resources, proprietary analytical tools and scientific expertise to help drive the discovery of new applications, testing of new care pathways and other opportunities to drive innovation in wellness and care delivery.

The announcement follows the recent addition of AARP as founding consumer advocate organization of the collaborative. Representing a broad cross-section of health care stakeholders, the new participants include the American Medical Group Association, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Tufts Medical Center and the University of Minnesota School of Nursing.

"These additional charter partners will help Optum Labs accelerate the pace of innovation, paving the way for exciting new research initiatives that can be directly translated to improvements in patient care," Paul Bleicher, M.D., Ph.D. and CEO of Optum Labs, said in a statement.

Other charter partners include the Boston University School of Public Health, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and Lehigh Valley Health Network.

"As the founding medical partner of Optum Labs, Mayo Clinic is excited to welcome the fresh insights and perspectives that new partners will bring to this collaboration," John Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, said in a statement. "In addition to having access to large sources of clinical and claims information, all partners will now benefit from the unique viewpoints that others bring as we work to transform health care in the U.S. and truly meet the needs of patients in this country."

Optum Labs brings together a community of health care stakeholders dedicated to improving patient care by sharing information assets, technologies, knowledge, tools and scientific expertise.

Research is linked to the clinical environment through prototyping and testing in Optum and partners' care settings, with a goal of achieving knowledge that improves health care delivery and patient outcomes.

More than 20 major research initiatives are under way at Optum Labs, including studies that compare results from randomized clinical trials to analyses of observational data and the effectiveness of various medical devices.

Other projects are dedicated to the research of geographic variation in care patterns and the most effective approaches to consumer engagement and treatment.

The organization said results from Optum Labs research will be shared through publications in scientific journals and presentations at professional meetings, with several projects slated for publication in mid-2014.