LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Advanced Health (CSS Institute) announced today it has achieved a major milestone in its establishment of a secure “medical information superhighway” as first envisioned by founder Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D. and outlined to the Institute of Medicine in July 2009. The CSS Institute has assumed financial responsibility for the nation’s premier advanced research communications network – National LambdaRail (www.nlr.net). NLR consists of over 12,000 miles of high performance optical fiber from coast to coast, capable of speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second. In partnership with Cisco Systems and their technology platform, NLR provides universities and government agencies with massive data transmission services required by leading-edge research.
The CSS Institute intends to put the virtually unlimited capacity of NLR at the disposal of genomic and proteomic researchers, connecting them with each other, with supercomputing capabilities and ultimately with health care providers. NLR will continue to serve all other big science projects, as it does now, for example connecting the US institutions working with the Large Hadron Collider built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switz., and also the laboratories of federal agencies such as NASA and NIH. The CSS Institute’s financial commitment, which is estimated to amount to more than $100 million, is enabling NLR to embark immediately on substantial upgrades to its entire network. The special focus on health will be served by new connections with genome sequencing centers around the United States, and with the CSS Institute’s newly opened data centers and supercomputer in Phoenix, Arizona, both of which were unveiled in April and are to be dedicated to health data.
“The CSS-NLR partnership will be truly transformative,” said Dr. Soon-Shiong, who has become Chairman and CEO of NLR. “NLR’s national network infrastructure will allow us to connect with virtually all of the nation’s key academic and research institutions, and thereby accelerate the translation of new science into therapy and better healthcare. It will serve as a cornerstone of our long-held vision to establish a secure national intranet of health, and a digital infrastructure for continuous improvement in health and healthcare.”
Harvey Fineberg, M.D., President of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, which has recently published a series of reports on value and science-driven healthcare, calling for a “digital infrastructure for the learning health system,” fully supports this alliance. “By enhancing the infrastructure of the National LambdaRail,” commented Fineberg, “this new partnership promises to accelerate the era of genomically-informed medical care, foster more sophisticated and timely evaluation of care, and enhance the quality of healthcare.”
Denis Cortese, M.D., President of the Arizona-based Healthcare Transformation Institute and former CEO of the Mayo Clinic, also welcomed the news. “Our healthcare system has long suffered from the fact that there is very poor connection between medical science and the delivery of healthcare,” he said. “This development is a giant leap towards bridging that divide. It will allow us to apply the power of supercomputing to the point of care, and this will be revolutionary.”
The development was also applauded by James Weinstein, M.D., President of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic, and Director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, which for more than 20 years has documented variations in healthcare around the United States through the Dartmouth Atlas Project. “This is exactly the kind of new national infrastructure that we need in order that medical institutions around the country can collaborate to identify and disseminate evidence-based, outcomes-focused best practices in the delivery of care,” said Dr. Weinstein. “It is very good news.”
Dr. Soon-Shiong said that the CSS Institute would soon announce its first use case for the new national health information infrastructure afforded by NLR and the other connectivity provided by the Institute.
About National LambdaRail
NLR is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization founded by the research and education community. It connects over 280 universities and federal laboratories, who use NLR’s 12,000 miles of high performance optical fiber in the United States, and its connections to overseas networks, for leading edge research. Users include NASA, NOAA and NIH. With very high availability, a choice of next-generation network services and applications, and customized support for individual researchers and projects, NLR creates opportunities for collaboration, innovation and commercialization among the global research community, and public and private partners. For more information please visit www.nlr.net
About the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Advanced Health
The CSS Institute, organized as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit medical research entity, was established in 2011 with core funding from Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and his wife Michele B. Chan, who have pledged through their family foundation $1 billion for healthcare and health information projects. The CSS Institute currently operates in both California and Arizona and is exploring relationships with other states. In April 2011 it announced the construction of data centers in Phoenix and Scottsdale dedicated to health information storage, and also the construction of a dedicated supercomputer in Phoenix. All these have since become operational and are now being connected with NLR. The CSS Institute’s funding for NLR comes through the Institute’s National Coalition for Health Integration, itself a 501 (c) 3 established in 2009 specifically to advance bio-informatics, the health grid and the creation of a national health information network.