Mayo Clinic launches Healthy Aging & Independent Living Lab

The Mayo Clinic has created a Healthy Aging and Independent Living (HAIL) Lab, aiming to pilot new services and technologies from companies such as Best Buy, which was announced as the "founding consortium member" of the clinic on Monday.

The Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation is collaborating with Mayo Clinic's Robert and Arlene Kogod Center for Aging and the Charter House, a continuing care retirement community in Rochester, in creating the HAIL Lab to support "aging in place" – helping seniors remain at home, healthy and independent.

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The HAIL Lab will be a place for focus groups, as well as for designing, prototyping and piloting new services and technologies with voluntary participation from Charter House residents and other community agencies.

The HAIL Lab will be supported by a consortium of organizations that provide strategy, expertise and financial support. Best Buy has been exploring the growing potential for wireless-enabled health-related devices, and its participation in the consortium is a natural extension of other investments the company has made in the health and wellness technologies arena, said officials.

"We're delighted to be part of the HAIL Lab consortium," says Kurt Hulander, senior director of health platforms at Best Buy. "We believe technology has the potential to foster healthy, productive lives by enabling easier access to information and medical care. Our partnership with Mayo Clinic will help us better understand the full potential for health technologies with patients who need them most."

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Best Buy is already expanding its portfolio of health-related retail offerings with blood pressure monitors, pedometers, fitness watches and other connected devices. The potential for these tools to wirelessly transmit data would enable patients to share information with medical professionals.

"We share a vision with Best Buy to support this growing segment of our population, helping seniors remain at home, in a connected and safe manner," says Barbara Spurrier, administrative director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation. "We intend to pilot new services, care models and technologies around such themes as connection and engagement, health and wellness, and home safety."