Software development will foster advances that drive waste out of the health-care system. Computing, artificial intelligence and big data will allow researchers to analyze massive amounts of information, generating findings that raise overall standards of treatment and lower costs.
The importance of partnerships
Amid our excitement about the future of medicine, however, we recognize two things: 1) Disruptive innovation in health care will emerge from our blind spots, and 2) we must seek partners who can help us see the whole picture.
Through a history of trial and error, we've discovered the importance of broadening our view. When two Mayo Clinic staff members, researcher Edward Kendall and clinician Philip Hench, announced cortisone's impact on arthritis in 1949, they received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. However, Mayo couldn't scale the innovation to reach patients around the world. Instead, Merck did that. Similarly, Mayo Clinic cardiovascular surgeons improved the heart-lung machine that transformed the field of cardiac surgery, but the Custom Engineering and Development Co. of St. Louis manufactured and sold the device so more patients could benefit from this medical advance. It's clear that we need to work with partners to ensure our ideas can be scaled to benefit patients.
Knowing this, we've restructured and realigned Mayo Clinic to build our partnership capabilities. This required entirely new mindsets about strategy, transparency, innovation and organizational structure. Our department of business development is now the portal into Mayo Clinic and has the full toolbox at its disposal — start-ups, license agreements, partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions and venture investing. In this way, we can ensure that each viable idea is effectively commercialized for the benefit of patients and the health-care system, using the best tools available.