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Analysis

John Halamka, MD, Named President of Mayo Clinic Platform

By Mandy Roth  
   December 04, 2019

Halamka views the concept as an "innovation factory" for collaboration; initiatives will encompass AI and the Internet of Things, plus creating an ecosystem of partners to stimulate Mayo's digital health initiatives.

Renowned innovation leader John Halamka, MD, is making a geographic leap from Boston to Rochester, Minnesota, to help Mayo Clinic ignite its digital health initiatives as president of the Mayo Clinic Platform.

Halamka has left his post as executive director of the Health Technology Exploration Center for Beth Israel Lahey Health in Massachusetts, and officially starts his new position January 1. Meanwhile, he is voluntarily working at Mayo, meeting dozens of stakeholders "to listen to their hopes and needs for Mayo Clinic Platform projects," according to his December 4 blog post.

In this new position he will lead a portfolio of new digital platform businesses focused on transforming health by leveraging artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, and an ecosystem of partners for Mayo Clinic, he writes. Regarding the Platform's potential, he says, "What if a platform of technology, policies, and people were able to radically shorten the time to evaluate emerging companies and created an "innovation factory" for collaboration? That's how I think about the Mayo Clinic Platform opportunity."

"Dr. Halamka has a proven track record of success in innovation and value creation," says Gianrico Farrugia, MD, president and CEO, Mayo Clinic in a news release. "His extensive experience and network will help power the Mayo Clinic Platform forward to benefit our patients and to support Mayo Clinic's path for the future."

While it doesn't appear that Mayo Clinic has made an official announcement about the Mayo Clinic Platform, it has been in development for a while and Halamka credits the "remarkable interim team" that has been leading its initial efforts. The Rochester, Minnesota-based Post Bulletin reported the concept was discussed in two public forums last January, including the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the 2019 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.

During a Facebook Live presentation from the World Economic Forum, Farrugia said, “We’re in the earliest stages of creating a health care-centric platform that is built around clinical knowledge,” according to the Post Bulletin. "Such a technology system could drill into research data and use artificial intelligence to find more efficient and cost-effective ways to treat patients, as well as identifying potentially valuable business opportunities," the paper reported.

Halamka alludes that he will release further details about the Mayo Clinic Platform during the 38th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference January.

For more than two decades Halamka served as chief information officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He also was the International Healthcare Innovation Professor at Harvard Medical School. He remains chairman of New England Healthcare Exchange Network Inc. and is a practicing emergency medicine physician, according to a news release. He has written a dozen books about technology-related issues.

In addition to Halamka's appointment, Mayo Clinic announced Clark Otley, MD, has been named chief medical officer of Mayo Clinic Platform. Otley joined Mayo Clinic in 1999 and is a professor of dermatology in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science; a physician in the division of dermatologic surgery; medical director for the department of business development; and president of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Mandy Roth is the innovations editor at HealthLeaders.


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