Dr. John Noseworthy: All of these unconventional healthcare partnerships will spark innovation

A number of new forces are entering the healthcare arena with the potential for serious disruption, causing some concern for healthcare veterans. However, President and CEO of Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic John Noseworthy, MD, says there's no need to worry: some of the best innovations have sprung up in unlikely places through unconventional collaborations, he argues in an op-ed for CNBC.

It's no secret that the healthcare industry is ripe for disruption and innovation. Dr. Noseworthy points out that Mayo sees potential for revolution in spaces like biotherapeutics, molecular imaging, genomics and software development.

But, the U.S. healthcare system is unsustainable as it sits, and industry players must put their heads together to come up with better, cheaper and faster ways of delivering care to keep up with the needs of patients and payers. Dr. Noseworthy adds that at the same time, the physical, digital and biological worlds are merging, thereby connecting every aspect of humans' lives.

"Amid our excitement about the future of medicine, however, we recognize two things," he writes. "[One,] disruptive innovation in healthcare will emerge from our blind spots, and [two,] we must seek partners who can help us see the whole picture."

These ideas aren't really anything new to Mayo. For example, when researchers at Mayo discovered cortisone benefits treating arthritis, Mayo couldn't scale the innovation. Instead, Merck did. "It's clear that we need to work with partners to ensure our ideas can be scaled to benefit patients," Dr. Noseworthy writes.

Mayo's department of business development serves as a central hub for its startups, license agreements, partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions and venture investing. Some of its collaborations include GeneSight, a genetic test developed with Myriad, or Cologuard, a noninvasive, colorectal cancer screening test developed with Exact Sciences.

"Now more than ever, stakeholders must reach beyond organizational boundaries to create significant medical progress and a sustainable, patient-centered healthcare system," he writes. "With many complex challenges to solve, patients are counting on the combined problem-solving power of seasoned industry leaders and visionary neophytes. We need both to quickly move from innovation to patient impact."

Click here to read Dr. Noseworthy's complete CNBC op-ed.

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