| February 21, 2019

Leidos, Mayo Clinic Team Up To Build Tech Accelerator For Innovation

Nqaba Matshazi

Nqaba has been working as an investigative journalist for the last 10 years. He has written for various media outlets across the world. Nqaba has been working as an investigative journalist for the last 10 years. He has written for various media outlets across the world.

Scientific engineering giant, Leidos and Mayo Clinic have announced a strategic collaboration to build on the combined strengths of both organizations to quicken the research, development and market adoption of tools, technologies and therapeutics.

In a statement, the two organizations said they will build an accelerator on Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville within the Life Sciences Incubator campus. The campus is a med-tech hub designated to advance new ideas and products from the research lab, through product development, for the improvement of human health and well-being.

The two organizations said they will use Leidos’ “novel systems integration solutions and applied public health applications. Together, the teams will identify, develop and commercialize products, services and solutions that will create significant value and positive impact for the healthcare industry, health care providers, patients and consumers.”

Collaboration will help advance new solutions

Leidos Health group president, Jon Scholl, described the partnership as a powerful force.   

“The shared values and deep passion for transforming health care make this collaboration a powerful force for the advancement of innovative methods and quick translation of these solutions across the healthcare ecosystem. The clinical knowledge of the Mayo Clinic combined with our technical expertise has the potential to truly transform the quality of healthcare in the future,” Scholl said.

Under the terms of the collaboration, the Reston, Virginia, headquartered Leidos will bring technical expertise in system integration solutions and applied public health applications. Teams will reportedly identify, develop and commercialize new products and services, though the partners did not offer further detail on the nature of those offerings, it was reported.

Kent Thielen, the Chief Executive Officer of Mayo Clinic in Florida, said they looked forward to “combining the power of our two organizations that will help us advance new solutions to solve the most complex health care challenges. Working together will allow us to spark a vibrant accelerator to bring innovation to the direct benefit of patients more quickly.”

Industry looks to collaborations for innovation

On its website, Leidos Health says it works with hospitals and healthcare systems to “help deliver better value for patients, spur innovation, and reduce operational costs and complexity,” and this could be the driving principle behind its collaborations in the healthcare sector.

In 2017, Leidos announced a strategic collaboration with Baptist Health South Florida, where the two would pilot the healthcare industry’s first real-time, military-grade data integration, mobile monitoring and patient activation suite.

On its part, in the past Mayo Clinic has also been part of other innovative collaborations.  In 2017 it partnered with Baxter International to develop a new center of excellence for chronic kidney disease patients in Florida. Mayo Clinic also partnered with Silver Spring, Maryland-based biotech United Therapeutics to construct a lung restoration facility in Florida.

Last year, Mayo Clinic entered into a three-year strategic collaboration with FundamentalVR to create joint surgical VR simulations and educational products. At the tail end of 2018, Mayo Clinic also announced a collaboration with startup, MyMeds, meant to improve adherence to medication.

Mayo Clinic has also entered into a partnership with the University of Oxford, and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom and with Swedish medical university, Karolinska University Hospital.

There is almost consensus among healthcare leaders that collaborations are key for the growth of the health sector and many are looking towards what could be deemed unconventional partnerships.

In laying out Mayo Clinic’s vision in February last year, the organization’s former president and CEO, John Noseworthy, reiterated the importance of collaborations, saying: It’s clear that we need to work with partners to ensure our ideas can be scaled to benefit patients.”

Noseworthy further opined that: “Unlikely alliances will create new healthcare solutions that change the world.” He said, that with this in mind,  they had restructured and realigned Mayo Clinic to build on the organization’s partnership capabilities. Noseworthy believed that partnerships were important because he realised that disruptive innovation in healthcare will emerge from the industry’s blind spots, and that outsiders will help leaders in the health industry see and appreciate the whole picture.

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