ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Mercy hospitals and the Mayo Clinic have entered into a decade-long agreement to use artificial intelligence to sort mountains of combined health data to help serve patients by finding diseases earlier. The collaboration combines Mercy’s 500 million deidentified patient encounters with the Mayo Clinic’s expertise in complex care and investment in data science platforms.

“By working together, we will be able to find the best paths for treatment and diagnosis to benefit patients everywhere. Our union has the potential to transform medicine worldwide,” writes John Halamka, M.D., an emergency medicine physician and president of Mayo Clinic Platform.

“With Mayo and Mercy combining efforts, we can speed prediction and diagnosis, and provide better patient care, experience, and outcomes, while ultimately saving more lives,” states Steve Mackin, Mercy’s president and chief executive officer

Both health systems were early adopters of electronic health records. But, until recently, the information was too complex and unstructured to analyze. Advancements in machine learning will help to organize the anonymous data to look for patterns. This will hopefully lead to better treatment options.