Ohio Research Network Benefits Health Innovation

  • Cisco
  • Healthcare
  • Juniper
COLUMBUS, OH – Faster network speeds are helping to enhance innovation - and earlier this week, Governor John R. Kasich of Ohio joined medical researchers in a videoconference to show how it works.

Under an agreement with network equipment companies Cisco and Juniper, Ohio will invest about $10 million to harness technology that will "open the faucet" of Ohio's 1,850-mile research network, increasing its capacity from 10 Gbps to 100 Gbps. The 100 Gbps network, which builds on the fiber optic network operated by Ohio's Academic Research Network (OARnet), will connect major metropolitan areas to the northern and southern connection points of Internet2, a nationwide advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community.

Using Bandwidth to Enhance Patient Care
Along with researchers from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and three other medical schools, Kasich showcased new research technology and discussed how Ohio's 100 Gbps bandwidth will help the schools collaborate on a global scale — enhancing Ohio's ability to attract grants and to create a hub for clinical innovation, research, patient care and medical education.

Ali Rezai, M.D., professor of neurosurgery and neuroscience and director of the Center for Neuromodulation at Wexner Medical Center, said researchers can remotely evaluate and monitor patients' clinical status, enabling them to improve patient care. Researchers can also collaborate across the state and nationally, sharing large files that contain medical images, video, audio, physiological and other research data.

Rezai discussed the importance of collaboration and training with his colleague George Jaskiw, M.D., a specialist in psychiatry and post-traumatic stress disorder from the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Hospital.

Dr. Joseph Broderick, chairman of the University of Cincinnati's College of Medicine Department of Neurology, spoke about how broadband technology will benefit his clinical work - using telemedicine to facilitate treatments for stroke patients. Broderick highlighted the challenges the medical research community faces in transmitting medical information, especially complex genomic data. Ohio's new 100 Gpbs network will change all that.

Until now, the only way to transmit this data was to physically load it onto external hard drives and ship it between institutions, Broderick said. Now, data can be transmitted in minutes at the click of a button.

Dr. Samer Narouze M.D., chairman of the Center for Pain Medicine at Summa Western Reserve Hospital, also joined by videoconference to discuss new procedures being used by the medical community in Akron. He said Ohio's broadband network will help train doctors on new clinical procedures and make Ohio a strong competitor for federal research grants.

"Ohio has a rich history as a pioneer of innovation - whether it's our role in aviation, the Space Race, or, today, in the information technology race," said Governor Kasich. "Our state has tremendous advanced resources in medical research that are the envy of the nation, and this is just the beginning. Enhancing our already impressive broadband network with minimal investment is certain to reap benefits for our next chapter in innovation and growth."

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