The Cancer Moonshot is a Mission, and All of Us #CanServe
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The Next 12 Months: Unleashing the Power of Data Sharing for Precision Medicine

By Jonathan Hirsch, Founder & President, Syapse

Henry Ford Health System

Earlier this month, I wrote about how Syapse is helping to make cancer precision medicine a reality by breaking down data silos and helping physicians use real-world data to reach the right treatment decision for their patients. I also talked about our early efforts at data sharing across health systems.

When we launched the Oncology Precision Network (OPeN) earlier this month, we knew it was a groundbreaking and daring idea to break down the barriers between not-for-profit health systems, academic research centers, Silicon Valley software companies, and we weren’t sure how the cancer community would react.

After we announced OPeN at the ASCO Annual Meeting in early June, I was surprised by the overwhelmingly-positive reception. In countless conversations, everyone wanted to know how they could also share their data and join their peers in making better care a reality.

The conversation in cancer care has changed. Data sharing is cool. Data silos are not.

Intermountain Healthcare, Providence Health & Services, and Stanford Cancer Institute, the founding members of OPeN with Syapse, recognized the opportunity to join together to advance cancer care through sharing of cancer genomics data, rapidly bringing the most promising treatment insights to cancer patients and physicians.

The Cancer Moonshot is Already Having an Impact

I believe that this sea change in attitudes on data sharing is due to Vice President Biden’s efforts to encourage the cancer care community to share. The Cancer Moonshot has great promise to accomplish a decade’s worth of progress in 5 years by bringing people together and removing barriers.

We are so inspired by this change in the community, and we want to continue the work we’ve started by making this a year of progress.

Syapse is doubling down on our commitment to the Cancer Moonshot.

Today, we are responding to Vice President Biden’s call for increased data sharing and collaboration across healthcare institutions by announcing concrete steps to expand data sharing to new health systems.

Expanding OPeN

With its current membership, OPeN comprises data and physicians across 11 states, 79 hospitals and 800 clinics, and will impact 50,000 new cancer cases per year. Yet however big OPeN is today, we cannot make enough progress as just 4 institutions. We must welcome other health systems into OPeN, and also enable physicians outside the network to benefit from our work.

That’s why we are excited to announce today that OPeN will be welcoming new health system members over the next few months. Our plan is to bring on board at least 5 new health systems over the next 12 months.

We are going to focus on community health systems, since over 80% of patients receive their care in a community setting. We are also going to focus on health systems outside of the current geographic reach of the current OPeN members in order to bring the best quality cancer care to patients in other geographic regions.

In addition to that, OPeN is committed to helping patients who are being treated by oncologists who do not practice at an OPeN member health system. We are going to facilitate access to data and insights generated by OPeN to help those providers guide treatment decisions. This will enable a broader community to leverage this new knowledge and drive more rapid progress for patients across the country.

OPeN is alsocommitting to increase access to clinical trials by matching patients from at least 20 community sites across the network to appropriate trials.

New Health System Partners

In addition, Syapse is announcing two new exciting partnerships that will bring precision medicine to an increasing number of cancer patients across the country. What is very important about these partnerships is that they will focus on traditionally underserved populations, including inner cities and rural communities.

Henry Ford Health System

Dr. Haythem Ali at Henry Ford Health System with his patient.

Our partnership with the Henry Ford Health System is but one example of the Cancer Moonshot bringing organizations together around the common goal of data sharing.

Henry Ford Health System, one of the nation’s leading comprehensive and integrated health systems, and Syapse are announcing today the launch of an oncology precision medicine program to improve cancer care.

With the goal of increasing access to care for all patients, the Henry Ford-Syapse partnership will bring world class, targeted cancer care to this national destination referral center in Michigan, and will continue to offer a bright beacon of hope to underserved populations in Detroit.

In the spirit of the Cancer Moonshot, Henry Ford is committing to sharing cancer outcomes data with other health systems, enabling more rapid learning from real-world experiences to improve patient care around the globe, today.

Catholic Healthcare Initiatives

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), the nation’s second-largest nonprofit health system, and Syapse are announcing the launch of an oncology precision medicine program to serve patients across CHI’s health system, covering 19 states and 103 hospitals, including four academic health centers and major teaching hospitals as well as 30 critical-access facilities.

CHI is one of the largest health systems in the nation to make a commitment to oncology precision medicine.

In addition, CHI intents, to the fullest extent possible, to participate in sharing consented patient data with researchers across the cancer community to further the collective goal of curing cancer.

12 Months

Henry Ford and CHI are committing to working with Syapse to make this data sharing a reality within 12 months.

So as you can see, Syapse and our partners have set out some ambitious goals for the next 12 months. We’re committed to making a big impact in the next year — and we hope our work inspires you to commit to make progress in the fight against cancer this year too.