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Advocate Aurora Health, Foxconn Plan Employee Wellness, “Smart City,” and Precision Medicine Collaboration

Wisconsin-based Advocate Aurora Health is partnering with Foxconn Health Technology Business Group, a Taiwanese company, to develop new technology-driven healthcare services and tools.

The health system, the 10th largest in the country, said the collaboration will “focus on technology innovations and integrations that will drive health care of the future and improve outcomes while lowering costs for individuals and employers.”

The partnership will combine Foxconn’s technology solutions with Advocate Aurora’s population health management capabilities to improve employee wellness and drive down costs. The organizations cited three key focus areas—enhancing preventive care and employer-based wellness programs; building a “smart city” connectivity infrastructure; and investing in precision medicine and transformational training programs for a clinical team of the future.

This newly announced collaboration is a part of Foxconn’s larger plans to build a $10 billion plant in Racine County, Wisconsin.

“Our employees’ health is our top priority,” Leonard Wu, CEO of Foxconn Health Technology Business Group, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with Advocate Aurora Health not only to bring together two organizations committed to health technology innovations but to provide first class health care and medical services to our Foxconn US employees.”

Technology will play a critical role in the future of health and wellness,” Nick Turkal, M.D., Advocate Aurora Health president and CEO, said. “We are excited about what we can do together to benefit not only our patients and communities here locally, but how our combined capabilities could potentially have a positive impact on wellness globally.”

The employer-based solution will be powered by Foxconn’s predictive modeling platform and advanced artificial intelligence solutions enabled by Advocate Aurora Health’s population health management capabilities to accelerate value by developing tools to improve employer health care cost forecasting and wellness programs, the organizations said.

According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Advocate Aurora Health and Foxconn also plan to collaborate on developing software for analyzing health information to identify people who are at risk of developing medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. “Artificial intelligence and precision medicine — two fields in which Foxconn is doing research — also could be future areas of collaboration. And Alvarez said Foxconn is making and selling products in Asia that it could bring to the U.S. market,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Guy Boulton wrote.

The collaboration creates a tie between the largest health system in Illinois and Wisconsin and a company that plans to build a $10 billion factory that eventually could employ 13,000 people, the Journal Sentinel article noted. In May, Advocate Aurora Health announced plans to build a $250 million hospital and medical office building in Mount Pleasant, site of the future Foxconn plant, and to open several new clinics in the Racine area.

Another key area of focus for the two organizations is a “smart city” concept that seeks to link consumers’ available health, fitness and dietary data across home, work, mobile, community and clinical environments. It will leverage Foxconn technology platforms to connect and display information for patients and doctors across an integrated provider network, in the same way average consumers connect their financial accounts or other data across different systems into one access point on their handheld phone. Developing an intelligent network of connectivity between health care support entities—nursing homes, pharmacies, ambulances and federally qualified health centers, among others—supports wellness outside the hospital, increases efficiency and drives down health care costs, the organizations said in a press release.

The effort will connect Foxconn’s digital health solutions with Advocate Aurora Health’s growing portfolio of virtual health offerings to enhance access points for health and wellness via web and mobile.

Wu said Foxconn has utilized some of these same technologies with its own employees. “We are pleased to adopt them here to enhance health from the workplace to the community,” he said.

The organizations also charted plans to invest in emerging medical disciplines like precision medicine and genomics, which are revolutionizing individualized care, as well as expand global recruitment and training to strengthen the future health care workforce across the Racine County region and beyond.