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, Switzerland, 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 centres around the United States, and with the CSS Institute's newly opened data centres 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", stated 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 health care."
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 health care, calling for a "digital infrastructure for the learning health system", fully supports this alliance. "By enhancing the infrastructure of the National LambdaRail", commented Harvey 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 health care."
Denis Cortese, M.D., President of the Arizona-based Healthcare Transformation Institute and former CEO of the Mayo Clinic, also welcomed the news. "Our health care system has long suffered from the fact that there is very poor connection between medical science and the delivery of health care", he stated. "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 health care 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", stated 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.