Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

AT&T powers Ellison Institute cancer research facility

Steve Rogerson
January 14, 2020



The Lawrence J Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC in Los Angeles is to open a smart facility that incorporates wireless technologies to stimulate a multidisciplinary research ecosystem and could eventually revolutionise the communication between researchers and patients.
 
The building will use 5G, multi-access edge computing (MEC), artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technology from AT&T to power its smart facility for cancer research, treatment and wellness education.
 
The Ellison Institute aims to create a paradigm in cancer research and treatment, where patients and researchers, doctors and scientists have the opportunity to interact in a community environment. Integrating technologies with the building should help reimagine the connectivity within healthcare and enhance the patient experience within the clinic while eventually providing an anticipatory, high-touch service.
 
The Ellison Institute’s collaborative think tank facilitates a change in the approach to cancer research, prevention and wellness by bringing together medical researchers and experts in physics, engineering and mathematics. By developing one of the most technologically advanced cancer research facilities, the team will amass data intelligence that will help to delineate the success of these collaborative interactions within the building.
 
“Cancer touches us all, and our hope at the Ellison Institute is to change the course of this disease by the way we approach it,” said David Agus, founding director and chief executive officer of the Ellison Institute. “As a cornerstone of the institute, our collaborative environment and interactive care clinic offer a different healthcare experience for patients, physicians and researchers. AT&T’s collaborative approach to identifying our needs and integrating transformational technologies will enable this multi-level synergistic ecosystem within the building and provide a blueprint available to virtually any institution looking to transform how they share information.”
 
The goal of this collaboration is to use technology to create a first-of-its-kind experience for visitors, patients, clinicians and students.
 
A wayfinding app allows patients, visitors and staff to orient themselves with the facility using a 3D map. Appointment alerts are sent, and directional guidance provided, including navigation to parking and additional lab locations located 20 minutes away.
 
Connected sensors track patient-staff interaction. The research and care process are studied for collaboration that can lead to better outcomes. In the future, facility assets and supply chain are in the plans for integration.
 
Wireless communications provided through the distributed antenna system allows for wall-to-wall coverage inside the Ellison Institute with enough capacity for thousands of users.
 
Immersive, personalised and engaging experiences for patients and visitors are expected to be delivered through the combination of these and other technologies.
 
The AT&T global network is the foundation and backbone that will help support the medical technologies used and developed at the facility. It will help enable the Ellison Institute to gain medical insights and help drive outcomes for their patients through sharing of information. The technology being deployed will consist of the distributed antenna system, 5G using mm-wave spectrum, multi-access edge computing and an IoT platform.
 
With this agreement, AT&T and the Ellison Institute are integrating a combination of technologies into one future-proof facility to try to help defeat a life-ravaging disease. As the approach of this facility is implemented and results are achieved, they can be shared across the industry, benefiting healthcare research all over the world.
 
“Nearly 40 per cent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime,” said Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer at AT&T Business. “AT&T Business’ work with the Ellison Institute to bring next generation technologies like 5G and edge compute will support their vision of transforming the way cancer is treated. AT&T’s solutions will help bridge the intersections across disciplines to create a truly collaborative environment.”
 
Slated to open this winter, the Ellison Institute’s building located in west Los Angeles will house interdisciplinary cancer research laboratories alongside a cancer treatment and wellness clinic. The facility will also serve as an educational destination where students and the community can tour the building, observe research in the labs and view curated art by the likes of Ai Weiwei, Laura Owens, Robert Indiana and Jeff Koons on display. Wellness, education and global outreach programmes will be facilitated in the building’s auditorium and test kitchen.