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HomeNewsBusinessCornell’s new digital health research centre will be funded by Optum Labs

Cornell’s new digital health research centre will be funded by Optum Labs

A joint research hub focused on precision behavioural health and promoting fairness in healthcare has been established at Cornell University in New York by Cornell Tech and Optum Labs, the research and development division of UnitedHealth Group.

In 2022–2023, Optum Labs will fund research in areas such as equitable human and algorithmic decision-making, extended reality for ageing in place, and precision behavioural health.

Recent advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, mobile sensing technologies, and virtual reality, according to Optum, have sparked the move and are opening up potential for bettering healthcare.

The relationship will be overseen by Dr. Tanzeem Choudhury, senior vice president at Optum Labs, and Deborah Estrin, associate dean and Robert V. Tishman ’37 professor at Cornell who also teaches in the department of integrated health and technology.

According to Estrin, the research project will hasten the conversion of cutting-edge findings into implementable instruments for enhancing public and individual health.

Incorporating new types of health data from wearables and internet of things (IoT) devices, they claimed, as well as developing new types of remote intervention and care delivery using augmented reality and virtual reality actuation technologies with computational techniques, were the specific goals of the partnership, which was formed with the express purpose of transforming patient health outcomes and care.

Inviting academic institutions and research facilities together will, according to Optum Labs CEO Ranju Das, “create a collaborative environment where research outcomes are achieved efficiently with an immediate opportunity for equitable impact.”

The U.S. Department of Justice made attempts to block the merger, but Optum and Change Healthcare were able to combine in October. The anticipated $13 billion merger brings together Change Healthcare, one of the biggest electronic data interchange clearinghouses in the country, with UnitedHealth Group, one of the biggest corporations in the US and the owner of the biggest health insurer in the country.

The company has collaborated with Red Ventures on a new consumer health-focused joint venture called RVO Health, which incorporates, among other things, doctor ratings through Healthgrades. Healthgrades, Healthline Media, Optum Perks, Optum Store, as well as virtual coaching programmes, are all part of the Red Ventures portfolio of brands. All of those will be incorporated into the RVO Health project. According to a report from Moody’s Investors Service, RVO Health will combine 95 million unique monthly visitors from Red Ventures with 120 million UHG customers and 50 million or more members.

Optum, its parent company UnitedHealth Group, and Walmart also started a 10-year partnership this year with the aim of utilising their combined expertise to enhance patient experiences and health outcomes. The partnership will debut in 2023 at 15 Walmart Health clinics in Florida and Georgia before eventually extending to new regions. In the long run, the companies anticipate providing value-based arrangements to hundreds of thousands of seniors and Medicare beneficiaries through a variety of Medicare Advantage plans.

According to Choudhury, the Digital Health Research Hub is fostering tighter relationships between scientists at Optum Labs and eminent academic experts in the field of health technology. “This partnership has the potential to shape the future of digital healthcare solutions with new algorithms and computational systems.”

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