Seven health organizations have become new partners of Optum Labs, a collaborative research and development facility that technology vendor Optum Health and Mayo Clinic formed in January 2013.

Optum, a unit of giant insurer UnitedHealth Group, has huge volumes of claims data and Mayo has considerable amounts of clinical data. Research underway includes comparing results of randomized clinical trials to analyses of observational data, assessing the cost effectiveness of various medical devices, researching geographic variations that can cause disparities in care, and testing effective approaches to patient engagement. Initial publication of findings is expected to start in mid-2014.

The new partners include the American Medical Group Association, Boston University School of Public Health, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Pfizer, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Tufts Medical Center, and University of Minnesota School of Nursing.

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