Health insurer Aetna (NYSE: AET) has launched a unit that will serve as a test kitchen to develop ways to improve patient outcomes through disease prediction and intervention. Its first two projects focus on evidence-based cancer treatment options and using big data to identify best treatment options for people with metabolic syndrome, according to a company statement.
The Hartford, Connecticut insurer is partnering with Philadelphia-based oncology clinical decisions business Eviti. The program will be rolled out in the New York, New Jersey region. Physicians in Aetna’s provider networks there will gain access to the healthcare IT company’s digital library of evidence-based cancer treatment regimens. The library will be offered as part of Aetna-owned Medicity’s iNexx health inform exchange and applications platform.
Dr. Lonny Reisman, Aetna chief medical officer and chair of the Aetna Innovation Council, said the program was intended to reduce variability in care patients receive and boost adherence to evidence-based care.
It also launched a pilot program with healthcare informatics company GNS Healthcare to use Big Data to figure out the kinds of intervention that will produce better outcomes for people at-risk for metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke such as large waist size, high blood pressure and high fasting blood sugar.
The head of the innovation Labs, Michael Palmer, said it is “partnering with innovators, applying emerging technologies that are widely used in the consumer marketplace, and measuring the outcomes. The focus is on improving the lives of the people we serve, while providing a better value for each dollar that is spent on health care.”