A new partnership between 3M and a Google company seeks to develop new tools to help health systems cut costs, identify trends, shorten patient stays and lower mortality rates.
The deal is with Verily Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet that was formerly called Google Life Sciences. The companies hope to work with hospitals, clinics, insurers and regulators to securely analyze data across delivery systems, from hospitals to home health, transitional care facilities and specialty offices.
The companies expect to develop tools that lead to new payment practices, where clinicians and doctors are paid based on the health of their patients and lowered hospital readmission rates, officials said.
The federal Affordable Care Act is one of several forces pushing a transition from “fee-for-service” payments — where doctors and hospitals arguably have financial incentives to provide extra care — to “fee-for-value” payments, in which health systems work within budgets to reward efficient care that also meets quality measures.
“We have the data analytics and software to understand trends and make predictions across large quantities of data. And we see a clear opportunity to apply this approach to health data for insights that can impact care,” said Tom Stanis, who leads Verily’s software and analytics division. “Together, with 3M’s know-how and deep expertise in parsing and coding clinical data, we imagine a world where providers have precise [and objective] information to guide focused improvement.”
Officials said 3M brings to the partnership experience in health data coding, risk stratification methods and the tracking of patient outcomes from large bodies of information. 3M products and services already track patient care and costs at entities ranging from hospitals to federal agencies.
Verily brings to the table expertise in data analytics, software development and algorithms that should help 3M make health data more useful. Verily’s work will also leverage Google’s Cloud Platform and Google’s expertise in data privacy and security.
The effort follows through on 3M’s recent promise to grow its health care information systems business. 3M had explored selling the business, but decided to invest and grow the lucrative unit instead. 3M Health Information Systems is part of 3M’s $5.4 billion Health Care Business.
“This collaboration reflects our commitment to continued innovation in health information systems that address real-world problems facing health care today, while protecting the privacy and security of health data,” said JaeLynn Williams, general manager of 3M Health Information Systems, in a statement. “At 3M, we are constantly evaluating how health information technology can help improve the efficiency, quality and cost of delivering care.”