- The Mayo Clinic is partnering with tech giant Google to streamline its digital operations, the Rochester, Minnesota-based provider announced Tuesday. Google will open a new office in Rochester as part of the 10-year arrangement, further evidence of the company's ongoing interest in the healthcare space.
- Mayo hopes to leverage Google's artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to advance its digital diagnostics, augment its ability to conduct medical research and improve treatment precision and clinical outcomes.
- Google Cloud will host health data collected at Mayo Clinic, and, though the health system will continue to control how the data is accessed and used, the data will be employed for research and product creation in tandem with third party partners, including Google. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Such partnerships are increasingly common as tech behemoths like Apple, Google and Amazon move further into the lucrative space. Dozens of healthcare companies and groups host their data in Google Cloud, including the American Cancer Society, Cleveland Clinic, Doctor on Demand and Kaiser Permanente. Now, the digital colossus can add Mayo Clinic to that list.
The nonprofit academic medical center with campuses across Minnesota, Arizona and Florida, is highly regarded across the country for consumer satisfaction and quality of care, so the deal could add legitimacy to Google's continued efforts in the industry.
It's not clear what specific health problems or disease burdens the two companies will research first or what products they'll develop.
Though Mayo Clinic will have to specifically authorize use of patients' health data collected in Google Cloud, the fact that the data will be used for third-party projects is likely to raise privacy concerns among patient advocates. Healthcare leads all U.S. industries in terms of data breaches, propelled in part by an overwhelming tide of information and myriad companies with access to it.
Healthcare data analytics is particularly competitive, estimated to reach $50.5 billion globally by 2024. A crop of new startups and offerings from existing players emerge daily.
Another crowded area for tech giants, healthcare cloud computing, is estimated to reach $55 billion by 2025. Companies like Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and more are forming partnerships with existing health companies as more health systems move trillions of data points to the cloud and look for ways to leverage them to improve care delivery and cut costs.