Information technology vendor Optum Health, a unit of giant insurer UnitedHealth Group, has launched a collaborative research and development facility, called Optum Labs, with its initial partner Mayo Clinic.

The lab has a singular goal to improve patient care, according to the organizations. Initial work being done using claims data from Optum and clinical data from Mayo, among other contributed assets, include best treatments for chronic myelogenous leukemia, measuring cost effectiveness of medical devices, improving diagnosis of Hepatitis C, and better understanding health disparities among the elderly. Optum and Mayo are seeking additional partners from across the health care spectrum to help fund and directly participate in research that they may not be able to support on their own.

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