NYC data consortium to expand with $8M in new PCORI funding

Nearly $8 million in renewed funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute is set to broaden and enrich the datasets of New York City-based INSIGHT Clinical Research Network over the next three years.


The centralized database, which comprises deidentified electronic health record and clinical trial data from NYC’s top academic medical centers, has enabled big advances in city-wide information sharing, according to consortium leader Weill Cornell Medicine.

Other participants in INSIGHT Clinical Research Network include Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Montefiore Health System, Mount Sinai Health System, NYU Langone Health and NewYork-Presbyterian.

The new PCORI funding will help support research into how artificial intelligence and natural language processing can help improve healthcare decision-making, such as more pragmatic clinical trials. It will also enable studies on the long-term effects of COVID-19.

The network is currently using a $9.8 million National Institutes of Health grant for a project focused on using real-world and EHR data to study post-acute COVID-19, using data from more than 40 healthcare organizations nationwide. The goal is to use that patient-generated health data to learn more about disease manifestations over time and the susceptibility of certain populations to adverse outcomes.

So far, the INSIGHT database has generated over $100 million in research funding for its member institutions. Beyond the consortium partners, the network is accessible to researchers nationwide

The INSIGHT consortium is one of eight clinical research networks across the U.S. supporting PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, with funding from PCORI.

It was launched 2013 with a $7 million grant from PCORI, with the goal of furthering research that provides better insights on healthcare quality and cost-efficiency – and relationships between health outcomes and social determinants of health.

Weill Cornell Medicine helped spearhead its secure cloud-based system environment and created its governance body – including patients, who contribute ideas for recruitment, how studies are designed and how results are communicated to communities.

“INSIGHT is propelling data science forward and allowing us to harness an extensive amount of clinical information from all aspects of the patient experience to improve healthcare,” said Dr. Rainu Kaushal, principal investigator of INSIGHT, senior associate dean of clinical research and chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences at Weill Cornell Medicine.

“This renewed funding will enable us to maximize our capabilities to carry out groundbreaking research, and continue to maintain and expand this high-quality, comprehensive resource for researchers nationwide,” she said.

“Health care is very fragmented, especially in New York City,” added Andrea Cohen, INSIGHT’s project director. “In order to understand the impact of health care on patients and accelerate the pace of quality research, we need to bring together data from many sources and make it widely accessible.”



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