Recent innovation in artificial intelligence, machine learning, mobile sensing technology, and virtual reality are creating opportunities for improving patient care. Optum Labs, the research and development arm of UnitedHealth Group, and Cornell Tech have created a collaborative research hub to identify new, industry-disrupting ways to deliver better, more equitable health care.

Optum Labs is providing funding in 2022-’23, which will drive innovative research in precision behavioral health, extended reality for aging in place, and equitable human and algorithmic decision-making.

The partnership will be led by Deborah Estrin, an Associate Dean and a Robert V. Tishman ’37 Professor at Cornell University, and Tanzeem Choudhury, Ph.D., Senior Vice President at Optum Labs, and a Roger and Joelle Burnell Professor in Integrated Health and Technology at Cornell University, with the specific intent of transforming patient health outcomes and care by incorporating new types of health data from wearables and IoT devices and creating new types of remote intervention and care delivery using augmented reality and virtual reality actuation technologies with computational techniques.

“The Digital Health Research Hub is creating closer collaborations between world-renowned health technology researchers from academia and Optum Labs scientists,” said Tanzeem Choudhury, Ph.D., Senior Vice President at Optum Labs. “The new algorithms and computational systems resulting from this partnership have the potential to shape the future of digital health care solutions.”

“This is an exciting opportunity to work with Optum Labs experts to shape technical research in ways that will advance health care in real-world settings,” said Deborah Estrin, Associate Dean and Robert V. Tishman ’37 Professor at Cornell University. “Aligned with Cornell Tech’s mission for deep engagements with the health care ecosystem, this new research initiative will accelerate the translation of novel research into scalable tools for improving individual and community health.”

“The Optum Labs Digital Health Research Hub, in partnership with Cornell Tech, supports UnitedHealth Group’s mission – helping people live healthier lives,” said Ranju Das, CEO of Optum Labs. “By bringing academia and research institutions together, we are creating a collaborative environment where research outcomes are achieved efficiently with an immediate opportunity for equitable impact.”