Optum Labs creates and funds digital health research hub at Cornell Tech NYC

Optum Labs, the research and development arm of Optum/UnitedHealth Care, is allying with Cornell University to create a collaborative health research hub at the university’s NYC-Roosevelt Island campus, Cornell Tech. The initiative, funded by Optum Labs, is targeted to develop precision behavioral health and advance equity. According to the release, it will drive innovative research in precision behavioral health, extended reality for aging in place, and equitable human and algorithmic decision-making. A large part of this is incorporating new types of health data from wearables and IoT devices, Also this joint venture will seek to create new types of remote intervention and care delivery using augmented reality and virtual reality actuation technologies with computational techniques. (Whew!)

The digital health hub will be led by Deborah Estrin, an Associate Dean and a Robert V. Tishman ’37 Professor at Cornell University, and Tanzeem Choudhury, Ph.D., Senior Vice President at Optum Labs, and a Roger and Joelle Burnell Professor in Integrated Health and Technology at Cornell University. The funding amount is not disclosed. To this Editor, this seems like an effort to restore the New York area as a digital health hub and regain momentum lost since 2020. Cornell release

Optum has been reaching out on multiple fronts. The RVO Health joint venture brought over media and Healthgrades doctor ratings [TTA 14 July], UHG inking a 10-year deal with Walmart Health starting with Florida locations, and of course the Change Healthcare wrap into OptumInsight [TTA 20 Sept, 4 Oct] though still being contested by DOJ post-closing. All a part of Keeping Up With the CVS Health/Aetnas, Walgreens/VillageMDs, Amazons, and fellow payers like Cigna and Elevance. HealthcareFinanceNews

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