Modern Healthcare reporters take a deep dive with leaders in the industry who are standing out and making a difference in their organization or their field. We hear from Andy Danielsen, chair of Mayo Clinic Ventures, about the role data can play in furthering healthcare innovation and the challenge of hiring the right people.
Mayo Clinic Ventures works to bring healthcare technology to the market. How did you get involved with this space, and how has it changed?
I came to Mayo originally as a research scientist, and worked in the research laboratories for many years. I then transitioned to our Mayo Clinic Ventures group, which deals with startup investment, innovation and commercializing new discoveries [from within] Mayo Clinic, but also investing in new discoveries arising from outside of Mayo: those technologies that we can develop, validate and incorporate into our own clinical practice at Mayo.
In terms of how I’ve seen [the landscape] change, there’s a lot more focus on how our data are used—and used appropriately—to develop things like artificial intelligence that make disease diagnoses our future in digital health.
How did providers get involved in this space, and what resources is Mayo leveraging?
You’ve seen a lot more health systems develop venture investment funds, do product development and enter the digital space.
Mayo has a long history of innovation and being at the front end of medicine. Hospital systems do their work; they care for their patients. But I think it’s Mayo’s place to also be thinking about: “How might we do our work five years from now, 10 years from now, that is good for our patients and good for Mayo Clinic as it runs its business of healthcare?” We want to be part of creating that future because we believe we bring that patient-centric mindset to the equation.
At Mayo, we have a large amount of data. We have a large, multistate practice. And we have an integrated model of care, where patients come to Mayo Clinic and they’re seen by a variety of clinicians—nephrologists, cardiologists and neurologists all coordinating together to care for the patient.
So, when you look at our electronic medical records, they will be very comprehensive, [because] we are seeing patients across specialties and all those data are collated and aggregated in one location. We’re a large, integrated holistic practice, so the data we’re able to generate and then utilize for future advancements in healthcare are robust.
What’s your message to other providers trying to figure out how this strategy would work in their organization?
To have patience. Developing the future of medicine is exciting, and we all want to change the world. We all see the problems and we want to fix them today. Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy, as we think through developing products, validating that they work, securing regulatory approval and then implementing and supporting them.
It’ll take time to build your team. If you’re new to this, it’ll take time to build that network. It takes a fair amount of patience and persistence to get from, “Hey, here’s a problem I really want to solve,” to solving that problem.
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