An inside look at invention at Mayo Clinic

Nov 29, 2022 | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara

At Mayo Clinic, the Department of Business Development is the front door to business. From technology commercialization to strategic partnerships, the ultimate goal of innovation at Mayo Clinic is to improve health outcomes and benefit patients.

Business Development has two divisions:

  • Mayo Clinic Ventures, which is Mayo’s technology development and commercialization group, responsible for assisting Mayo innovators in advancing their invention ideas into actual products.
  • Corporate Development, which is focused on creating opportunities such as partnerships, joint ventures, and new company formation.

"Mayo has about 7,000 active inventors across its campuses, which is quite incredible," says Dr. Clark Otley, medical director for the Department of Business Development at Mayo Clinic. "Every week, I receive a list of the new invention ideas and technologies that they think up, and I am frankly in awe of their creativity and drive to help our patients."

Mayo Clinic Ventures works hand in hand with all three shields at Mayo Clinic — Research, Practice and Education — to advance the best ideas to the marketplace.

"In many parts of health care, a 10% success rate is considered standard," explains Dr. Otley. "Mayo’s success rate in achieving at least some degree of commercial success is closer to 30%, thanks to our amazing inventors and the hard work of our Mayo Clinic Ventures staff."

Mayo’s key invention activities and innovations align with the strategic plan to "Cure. Connect. Transform." Business Development supports key activities in each of those areas:

  • In Cures, Business Development is partnering with our Research and Practice innovators to advance technologies aimed at restoring vision, diagnosing cancers bodywide through a blood test, manipulating the proximal small intestine to reverse diabetes, controlling recalcitrant seizures and regenerating organs that have worn out, and many more areas.
  • In Connect, Business Development is partnering with innovators in the practice, Center for Digital Health and Mayo Clinic Platform to advance the care of patients with serious or complex diseases in the comfort of their home, caring for pregnant patients in more effective and less disruptive ways, and even extending cancer care beyond the walls of Mayo Clinic.
  • In Transform, Business Development is partnering with Mayo Clinic Platform to advance new, transformative, data-science-based platform solutions that aim to extend Mayo’s expertise, powered by artificial intelligence, to patients across the world, in conjunction with colleagues from Mayo Clinic International.

Past successes help support future endeavors at Mayo Clinic.

"The big news is that Mayo is about the hit a milestone related to inventing," says Dr. Otley. "Sometime this winter, Mayo will reach the $1 billion milestone of revenue brought back from our inventing activity, supported by Mayo Clinic Ventures. And the beautiful thing is that those proceeds are reinvested back into our three-shield mission of Practice, Education and Research to maintain the virtuous cycle of invention in patient care."

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Otley joins host, Dr. Halena Gazelka, to share an inside look at invention at Mayo Clinic.

To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Read the full transcript. 

For more information, go to the  Mayo Clinic News Network  and 

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