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Aetna Innovation Labs research best practices


The Aetna Innovation Labs were created to test specific initiatives, determine success rates and impact, and expand programs that show promise.

Aetna has created a dedicated team it calls the Aetna Innovation Labs to research the practices that have the greatest potential to improve patient outcomes or demonstrate measurable value to customers, healthcare providers or members. The labs will allow Aetna to test specific initiatives such as those related to disease prediction and intervention, determine success rates and impact across populations of members, and expand programs that show promise.

The marketplace is rapidly changing,” said Michael Palmer, head of the Aetna Innovation Labs. “Forces such as healthcare reform, emerging technologies and economic conditions are driving our need to constantly develop innovative and measurable programs to improve healthcare quality and reduce costs for our customers and members.”

Palmer joined Aetna from Accenture, where he was global managing partner of medical technology.

In one of its first projects, the Aetna Innovation Labs is working to make cancer care more effective, more affordable and safer by deploying technology including the eviti clinical decision-support program. The company is making eviti available through its data exchange and applications platform, iNexx, and launching the program in New York and New Jersey.

A second project being undertaken by the Aetna Innovation Labs combines “big data” provided by Aetna with a supercomputer-enabled platform from GNS Healthcare with the goal of analyzing it to rapidly discover what types of interventions drive better outcomes in those who are at-risk for metabolic syndrome, and for whom these interventions work best.

“Aetna Innovation Labs is currently focused on clinical and platform innovation and on improving member and provider engagement,” Palmer said. “But we are exploring a number of different areas that will drive value, from next-generation platforms, to telehealth and mHealth (mobile health), to genomics. We will likely also launch new businesses based on the work of Aetna Innovation Labs to both strengthen our core offerings and provide new capabilities to our customers.”

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