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USC’s Ellison Institute Leverages State-of-the-Art Wireless Networks to Build Next-Generation ‘Smart’ Facility That Enhances Connections Between Researchers and Patients

In Collaboration with AT&T, New Building is Engineered to Help Transform Cancer Research and Patient Care with Technology and the Power of Connectivity

LOS ANGELES, January 6, 2020 – The Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC (“Ellison Institute”) will open a new “smart” facility that incorporates advanced wireless technologies that will be used to further stimulate a multidisciplinary research ecosystem and could eventually revolutionize the communication between researchers and patients.

The new building will use 5G, multi-access edge computing (MEC), artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technology solutions from AT&T to power its state-of-the-art, smart facility for cancer research, treatment and wellness education. 

The Ellison Institute aims to create a new paradigm in cancer research and treatment, where patients and researchers, doctors and scientists have the opportunity to interact in a community environment. Integrating cutting-edge technologies with the building will 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 world-class medical researchers and leading 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 Dr. 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.”

“Nearly 40 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime,” said Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer, AT&T Business. “AT&T Business’s 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.” 

The goal of this collaboration is to use technology to create a first-of-its-kind experience for visitors, patients, clinicians and students.

  • An easy-to-use 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. 
  • Reliable 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, personalized 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 latest 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 enhanced sharing of information. The solution being deployed will consist of Distributed Antenna System (DAS), 5G using millimeter wave spectrum, multi-access edge computing and an IoT platform.

With this agreement, AT&T and the Ellison Institute are integrating a powerful combination of technologies into one future-proof facility to try to help defeat a life-ravaging disease.  As the cutting-edge approach of this state-of-the-art facility is implemented and results are achieved, they can be shared across the industry – benefiting the greater good of healthcare research all over the world. 

Slated to open this winter, the Ellison Institute’s new 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 ongoing 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 programs will be facilitated in the building’s auditorium and test kitchen. 


Ballantines PR for the Ellison Institute [email protected]