Alphabet’s Verily, Mayo Clinic team up on decision support tech for cardiovascular care

Alphabet’s Verily continues to push further into clinical care and is using its tech muscle to build advanced decision support tools for providers.

The two organizations struck a strategic two-year collaboration focused on the development of a digital point-of-care resource to support an individualized approach to patient care. The tool will provide contextualized and validated knowledge on disease management, care guidelines and treatment to help clinicians make decisions, the organizations said.

Teaming up with Mayo Clinic, Verily will pull in the hospital’s clinical content and apply advanced clinical analytics and user-centered design to deliver care insights that are integrated into the health care provider workflow, the companies announced Thursday.

Initially, the organizations will focus on a set of cardiovascular and cardiometabolic conditions, with the aim to help guide clinicians toward the highest-quality care. 

“We hope it can be used as a GPS for patient care,” said Bradley Leibovich, M.D., medical director of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Digital Health, in a statement.

“The exponential growth in medical discovery and knowledge has reached the point where it is almost impossible for caregivers to keep up with the latest advances. This tool will make Mayo Clinic’s deep expertise available to care teams so that they can have concise, relevant and applicable answers to clinical questions, tailored to specific needs of each patient,” Leibovich said.

RELATED: Verily launches AI research center in Israel, picks up Google Health projects

Mayo Clinic aims to use Verily’s technology to “push past the limitations” of existing clinical decision support tools to make it more relevant for physicians and the patients they are caring for, Paul Varghese, Verily’s head of health informatics, told Fierce Healthcare.

Most care pathways tend to be one-size-fits-all, he said.

“Clinical decision support tools can be rigid in what they present and ask clinicians to do more work to find the relevant things in order to make that last mile decision,” Varghese said. “Working with Mayo, we can build more intelligence pathways.”

Rick A. Nishimura, M.D., a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, said the technologists and physicians working on the project began with the premise of how to make life better for physicians and how they take care of patients.

“From a clinician standpoint, I can tell you, we hear the term CDS and everybody throws up their hands. No clinician wants to be told what to do by an EHR [electronic health record],” he said, noting that the tool Mayo and Verily developed leverages the knowledge and expertise of Mayo Clinic’s physicians and medical experts.

For a physician treating a patient diagnosed with heart failure, the tool will pull up relevant information such as the patient’s last stroke test and recommend next steps, for example, Varghese said.

“In our initial discussions with experts at Mayo Clinic, we realized it was important to offer insights but also to insights on how and why the recommendation was generated and link to curated information, he said. “We also think it’s important to learn back from that clinical decision-make and give them the opportunity to say, ‘I’m going to choose something else’.”

RELATED: Alphabet’s Verily joins Highmark, Google Cloud project Living Health

Vivian Lee, M.D., president of Verily Health Platforms said in a statement that the partnership offers a unique opportunity to combine “Mayo’s leadership in knowledge management and clinical informatics with Verily’s data science and product development expertise to create curated and validated clinical care pathways for clinicians.”

This initiative aims to provide care teams with the most validated care management plan for some of the most prevalent and costly chronic conditions, she said.

The decision support tool will be developed based on a broad range of health-relevant data sources, including Mayo-vetted clinical knowledge and deidentified health record data. The tool will use open standards to enable integration with multiple commercial electronic health records.

The technology will be first deployed at Mayo Clinic with the opportunity to extend the new solution to Verily’s health system partners and customers, the organization said.

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