Intermountain, Stanford, Providence form 79-hospital alliance to share cancer data

Three healthcare powerhouses joined forces with a precision medicine firm today in an initiative to advance cancer care through data sharing and increased access to clinical trials.

Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare, Stanford (Calif.) Cancer Institute, Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health & Services and precision medicine firm Syapse in Palo Alto, Calif., partnered to form the Oncology Precision Network.

The hub will share aggregated clinical, molecular and treatment data through an advanced software platform. The collaboration aims to find breakthroughs in cancer care by leveraging previously untapped cancer data while preserving privacy, security and data rights.

Each healthcare organization in the consortium was individually storing valuable information regarding patients' health history, cancer status, lab, molecular and genetic data and treatments. Collectively, the OPN will link aggregated data between the geographically disparate health systems, increasing interoperability of data sharing to provide physicians with previously unavailable information.

"By aggregating all of our real patient experiences, we will rapidly expand our ability to learn how to choose the best targeted treatments for our cancer patients based on the molecular profile of their tumor and our informatics based research," said Jim Ford, MD, associate professor of Medicine and Genetics at Stanford and director of Clinical Cancer Genomics at the Stanford Cancer Institute. 

The OPN contains data and physicians from 11 states, 79 hospitals and 800 clinics. The group hopes to include other health systems later in the year.

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