• Minnesota

    UnitedHealthcare Joins Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Aging and Independent Living Consortium

  • The HAIL consortium researches and develops programs aimed at enhancing older Americans' health and quality of life
  • Volunteer residents at Charter House Continuing Care Retirement Community participate in research and pilot programs designed to help seniors live independently

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic announced UnitedHealthcare as the newest member of the Healthy Aging and Independent Living (HAIL) consortium. The HAIL consortium, composed of Midwest businesses and organizations including Best Buy, General Mills and Good Samaritan Society, develops new products, services and technologies aimed at enhancing older Americans' health and quality of life.

UnitedHealthcare will help test new services, care models and technologies that include connection and engagement, such as email and video communications, as well as home safety, and other health and wellness programs.

Established in September 2011, the HAIL initiative conducts its research in a "living lab" located in Charter House, a continuing care retirement community in Rochester. The Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation (CFI), Mayo Clinic's Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging and Charter House created a space where Charter House residents and volunteers from other community agencies can participate in creating and piloting new programs developed "in-house" and aimed at supporting healthy aging in place — helping seniors remain at home, healthy and independent.

There are currently about 40 million people in the U.S. over the age of 65, and that number is estimated to increase to 70 million by 2030, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging.

"From initial discovery through delivery to patients, Mayo Clinic has the ability to conduct every phase of research in-house," says Nicholas LaRusso, M.D., medical director of the Center for Innovation. "Making our research even more effective is our continual effort to make sure the patient is front and center and that the medical practice is informing the research. The HAIL Lab is a place to try out and test new products and services with real consumers."

"UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Mayo Clinic and other organizations to explore and develop programs and services that will help seniors live healthier lives," says Jeff Shoemate, vice president of Innovation & Business Development, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement.

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

The HAIL initiative is supported by a consortium of organizations that provide strategy, expertise and financial support. Corporations interested in joining the consortium should contact the Center for Innovation at innovation@mayo.edu, or call 507-266-0900.

About the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation

Established in 2008, the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation (CFI) is pioneering what can only be called a Mayo Clinic style of health care innovations. The center is staffed with design professionals, many of whom are top design school graduates, as well as project managers and specialists from a wide variety of disciplines whose aim is to help innovative thinkers throughout the institution bring their ideas to life and team with colleagues to keep the institution moving forward — testing new concepts and bringing them quickly into the practice. Team members are recruited who have expertise in health care, information technology, anthropology, communication, human factors engineering, education, and other disciplines as needed on given projects.

Media Contact: Alaine Westra, 507-284-5005 (days), newsbureau@mayo.edu

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