Mayo Clinic Platform > Platform Powers Answers

Platform Powers Answers

By Stefanie Kula Illustrations by Stephanie Dalton Cowan

HERE’S AN ARTIFICIAL intelligence-generated headline about this story, according to input from a large language model with just a bit of human assistance:

Mayo Clinic Platform: Transforming Healthcare With AI, Global Reach and Visionary Leadership as Platform President John Halamka, M.D., M.S., Reveals Even More Ambitious Goals

Indeed. But for a more nuanced story about Mayo Clinic Platform, the headline needs more human touch and less assistance from AI or any other technological advances dominating recent news cycles.

It, too, comes with a message worth reading twice.

“If your doctor can be replaced by AI, then your doctor should be replaced by AI,” Dr. Halamka told Mayo Clinic Magazine in a recent editorial board interview. “But that’s not the reason we go to the doctor. We go to the doctor for listening, empathy and respect. It’s just as much social as it is medical.”

And that’s where AI can play a growing role in the patient experience, augmenting human knowledge, like it has in so many other fields. Dr. Halamka, also recognized as the Michael D. Brennan, M.D., President’s Strategic Initiative Professor, believes that good doctors become even better when using AI and its mathematical abilities to instantly consider millions of other factors like demographic information, risk assessments, data points and the latest scholarly articles.

This powerful combination of connecting physicians and data supports the goal of Mayo Clinic Platform: to use collaborative tools and new technologies to create better healthcare and outcomes for all patients everywhere.

More Data, More Solutions

Mayo Clinic Platform is a coordinated portfolio of products focused on harnessing the transformational powers of AI, disseminating new AI-enabled treatment models and democratizing access to quality care. In his role, Dr. Halamka is helping Mayo Clinic develop new ways of thinking, new partnerships and new specialized skills to meet evolving patient needs while upholding Mayo’s long-standing values.

“At its core, the nature of what a platform is remains the same — it’s an enabling set of technologies, policies and processes that bring partners and collaborators together on a grand scale,” Dr. Halamka says. “However, how we execute this concept has evolved significantly.”

Mayo Clinic Platform was launched in 2020 with the idea that Mayo Clinic could turn the data of past patients into new cures and treatments for future patients. By taking more than 150 years’ worth of patient data and de-identifying it, innovators — from small startups to large companies — could develop new solutions for disease.

But with data came a few realizations over the past several years. Despite seeing 10 million patients, Mayo Clinic mostly sees people from the Midwest, Arizona and Florida, meaning the data are not representative of populations around the world. And it’s global impact that the Mayo Clinic Platform team is after.

“The question is, ‘Are we going to be able to take technologies, like emerging AI, and make them fair, appropriate, valid, equitable and safe? How can you reach even beyond Mayo Clinic’s extraordinary data and harness the data of the world?’” asks Dr. Halamka.

Bold Moves, Big Connections

In May 2023, the Platform expanded its distributed data network to include Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Brazil, Sheba Medical Center in Israel and University Health Network in Canada. The organizations joined Mercy, a health system based in St. Louis, Missouri, which was the first member. The goal is to bring together health systems from around the world to join this peer-to-peer network.

We go to the doctor for listening, empathy and respect. It’s just as much social as it is medical.


The Platform’s federated architecture — known as Data Behind Glass — ensures a secure architecture where data and intellectual property remain under the control of each individual organization. It also ensures that all data are de-identified, and that Mayo Clinic Platform partners do not see or interact with identifiable data at any point. The repository is now more representative of a global population and contains 40 million patient records.

“It took almost a year of legal, privacy, compliance and information security working together to create a repeatable model for de-identifying data,” Dr. Halamka says. “Our dataset is 99.6% de-identified. The best that had been done before the Platform was about 80%.”

PHOTOGRAPH: (John Halamka, M.D., M.S.) Matt Meyer

And that’s what the Platform is enabling — safe, responsible and accelerated medical innovation using de-identified data on a global scale.

Already, Mayo Clinic Platform has supported the creation of more than 200 AI projects. These AI projects span different departments and specialties — from cardiovascular disease detection to an AI algorithm for radiation oncologists that auto-contours head and neck cancers more quickly and accurately than traditional contouring methods.

“In the last three years, more data meant more solutions, which meant more healthcare organizations wanted to participate, which meant more data, which meant more solutions,” Dr. Halamka says. “And so, in a true platform fashion, every participant is creating value for every other participant.”

Disrupting Healthcare

Dr. Halamka joined Mayo Clinic in 2020, leaving behind an endowed professorship at Harvard University that he held for 25 years. He was attracted to Mayo because of its goal to truly transform and disrupt the healthcare system.

“We’re not going to get new business models that are disruptive and transformative unless we take risks,” Dr. Halamka says. “And Mayo didn’t just say that. They really stood behind it.”

One of the most disruptive, mature Platform solutions is an at-home hospital program that allows high-acuity patients to receive hospital-level care virtually anywhere. Launched in July 2020, the program has now treated 26,000 patients around the nation through the Advanced Care at Home program, in partnership with Medically Home.

Advanced Care at Home eliminates or shortens hospital stays and allows patients to avoid skilled nursing facilities, while improving outcomes and satisfaction. In addition to the in-home care providers who visit patients’ homes, Mayo Clinic patients enrolled in the program receive 24-hour access to a Mayo Clinic provider through audiovisual technology and software. Under the direction of Mayo Clinic care teams operating out of the Florida-based R. Halsey & Lisha S. Wise Family Foundation Command Center, patients receive skilled nursing care, remote monitoring, phlebotomy services and other essential services from a network of EMTs, nurses and medical technicians.

The quality, safety and outcomes are the same as — and in some cases better than — brick-and-mortar care. The cost is 30% less, and the readmission rate is 50% less than in-hospital care. Patient satisfaction rates also are higher than traditional inpatient satisfaction rates.

“This was a situation where we were going to disrupt our own business model,” Dr. Halamka says. “What this implies by 2030 is a true transfor­mation of healthcare, because many patients will have the option to be treated in their home instead of in the hospital.”

With healthcare rapidly changing, Dr. Halamka recognizes the bright future ahead. He’s looking forward to watching people’s lives improve on both an individual and global scale, thanks to the innovations through Mayo Clinic Platform.

“If we’re going to reach 4 billion patients globally with these solutions, there’s work to do,” says Dr. Halamka. “Our job is to make Mayo Clinic’s practice better while also spurring global transformation.”

Mayo Clinic Platform, Patient Stories
Mayo Clinic Platform, Patient Stories
Mayo Clinic Platform, Patient Stories