Google to work more closely with the Mayo Clinic at new Minnesota office

The new location will help teams from Google Cloud and Google Health to collaborate with the Mayo Clinic's IT staff, medical researchers and clinicians.

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Google on Thursday announced that it's opening its first office in Minnesota, allowing it to work more closely with the Mayo Clinic on their joint efforts to improve medical research and the delivery of healthcare with technology. The announcement builds on the 10-year strategic partnership Google and the Mayo Clinic launched in 2019. 

The Rochester office won't technically be open yet, due to Covid-19 safety precautions. Once it does open, the space will be largely dedicated to software engineering and AI teams from Google Cloud and Google Health. 

"We've got a lot of capabilities we'd like to bring to the partnership and our work with the Mayo Clinic's fantastic IT staff and world-class clinicians," said Google Cloud's Chris Mueller, who will serve as the site lead. 

Since launching their partnership, Google and Mayo have worked on building a foundation for storing and managing data in a secure and private way, according to Cris Ross, the Mayo Clinic's chief information officer. 

Mayo has also announced its first AI and machine learning collaboration with Google -- an effort to improve the delivery of radiotherapy for cancer patients. The joint teams are in the "early stages of evaluating the effectiveness of the technology, but we're very encouraged," Ross said. 

Beyond that, the teams have "a whole series of projects lined up that we hope to announce soon," he said. 

"From our perspective, the power of insight that comes with being able to manage data in more sophisticated ways is pretty incredible," Ross continued. "We think we can make care more personalized, more powerful, we think we can make it quicker, and we think we can make it more affordable."

Mayo researchers from about 40 teams, he said, are leveraging an "AI factory" that allows them to use AI tools in a variety of clinical settings, without having to build the tools from the ground up.