Highmark invests $11M to 'revolutionize' healthcare

Hoping to increase the testing and availability of healthcare innovations, Highmark is helping fund an $11 million initiative with Carnegie Mellon University, the latter announced Monday.

The Pennsylvania insurer and global research university said the collaborative effort, dubbed the Disruptive Health Technology Institute (DHTI), will research new technologies that can help cut costs and improve outcomes. For example, DHTI researchers will address medical diagnostics accessibility, chronic disease management, data mining, and improved endoscopy and diagnostic ultrasound, according to the announcement.

"The forces in healthcare today call for radical change, to revolutionize the way we do business" Highmark CEO William Winkenwerder said. "It's about value vs. volume, rapidly delivering these new ideas."

The initiative seeks to correct the trend that more than 95 percent of new healthcare ideas and innovations "never reach the patient" because of economic, regulatory or scientific hurdles, DHTI Director Alan Russell told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

"Personally, I think there is a lot to be gained from data mining," Stephen Foreman, associate professor of healthcare administration at Robert Morris University, said of the Highmark-CMU project. "If they can link electronic medical records with claims data, they could identify providers that produce good outcomes with fewer resources, and look deep into the data to find out why and how," he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

To learn more:
- check out Carnegie Mellon's announcement
- read the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article
- see the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article

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