The Largest Urban Clinical Research Network

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Promoting Patient-Centered Research

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Making Big Data Accessible

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About Us

INSIGHT Clinical Research Network (CRN) is the largest urban clinical network in the nation. Bringing together five top academic medical centers across New York City, INSIGHT collects comprehensive clinical records for 12 million unique patients. Our robust dataset reflects the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of the population as well as the extensive set of healthcare services offered across a fragmented healthcare landscape. The Network also provides important research services, such as clinical trial support, patient engagement, and a centralized IRB, to advance and streamline research.

INSIGHT CRN, formerly the NYC-CDRN, is supported by the People-Centered Research Foundation (PCRF) with the goal of creating an accessible, sustainable, scalable clinical research network to facilitate regional and national people-centered research. INSIGHT’s secure, research-ready database has generated over 44 projects, enabling groundbreaking medical research while ensuring the privacy and security of patient data.


Patients In Our Central Repository
% of Patients Are Currently Linked To Claims Data
Unique Encounters
Social Determinants of Health Records


Frequently asked questions

INSIGHT CRN’s central repository contains clinical data on patients drawn from electronic health records across New York City’s five health systems (Albert Einstein School of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medicine/New York-Presbyterian Hospital, lcahn School of Medicine/Mount Sinai Health System, and New York University School of Medicine/Langone Medical Center) and the greater metropolitan area. Our data is used to support a wide range of large-scale, multi-site research. The Network’s central repository offers 11 years of demographic, diagnosis, encounter, vitals, prescribing, labs, and procedure data. We also recently added zip codes and addresses to our central repository. Please refer to the list of data elements in our Common Data Model (CDM). We can also assist in facilitating access to  certain data elements outside of our CDM.

INSIGHT CRN supports a variety of research including multi-center pragmatic clinical trials, prospective data collection and observational retrospective data analysis across a range of chronic conditions and rare diseases. We also specialize in clinical and claims data linkages, public health surveillance, health systems research, and predictive health analytics.

To gauge the feasibility of leveraging the Network’s data in your research, simply complete a Data Request Form to receive a complimentary prep to research query, in which we’ll provide aggregate counts of patients in your cohort(s) of interest. For examples of past and current research projects, please visit our Research page.

Yes! INSIGHT CRN leverages a rigorous set of privacy and security protocols that adhere to the HIPAA privacy rules and definitions of “Safe Harbor” and “Expert Determination” to support its limited, centralized database, and regularly undergoes audits to ensure compliance with NIST 800-66 and HIPAA standards. All protected health information is stripped and our limited data set (consisting of real dates and addresses) is stored in an environment hosted by a third-party vendor. Our hosting vendor is compliant with HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GLBA, and SOC 2 Type II and undergoes annual compliance audits to ensure consistent adherence to privacy and security requirements.

All of our sites have approved of a single IRB – BRANY (Biomedical Research Alliance of New York) – that covers access to data across all five participating health systems within the INSIGHT CRN. The INSIGHT team routinely offers IRB consulting services to our data users and partners, thereby maximizing efficiency and minimizing IRB costs. We will discuss the IRB costs with you when you are ready to develop a budget.

All researchers are eligible to apply for INSIGHT CRN data regardless of career level or institution. The Network supports junior researchers who are beginning their careers in healthcare research, as well as experienced researchers with more complex projects. INSIGHT CRN currently works with a wide range of data users and partners—clinicians, physicians, informaticists, health system leaders, government agencies, payers, and industry.

Yes! INSIGHT CRN provides a complimentary prep-to-research query and a feasibility assessment to maximize the potential utility of our data. The prep-to-research query produces high-level patient counts that may be used to support your grant proposal. The INSIGHT team will work with you to develop a scope of work that leverages our capabilities to support your grant proposal. The Network can also provide a letter of support (that includes language on the resources available) to supplement your application.

All of our data is refreshed quarterly. We will use the most recent data for your data pull unless otherwise noted in the research protocol.

Once your project has been funded, INSIGHT CRN will work with you to establish a timeline for your data. We always try our best to give you data in a timely manner; however, every project is different and timelines can vary depending on the complexity of your data request. Therefore, every project implementation begins with a kick-off meeting where we establish milestones and define the scope of work in detail. Once your data is ready, we will use secure transfer mechanisms to send you the data. Our data is covered by the terms of the INSIGHT DUA.

The cost of using INSIGHT data will depend on the complexity of your project and the level of effort involved to develop the query, extract data, and provide other services as needed. Please fill out our Data Request Form, paying close attention to the funding amount and your budget for INSIGHT data, and we will contact you to discuss your study in more detail.


INSIGHT has been an invaluable resource for multi-center research here in New York City, and has been an enormous benefit for our RENYC study (Rare Epilepsies in NYC). INSIGHT helped us increase our patient cohort by seven times and allowed us to gather data from across the fragmented healthcare landscape of NYC.
Zachary Grinspan, M.D., M.S.
Director, Pediatric Epilepsy Program
Associate Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Weill Cornell Medicine
As part of my health systems demonstration project, I needed to develop a novel, computable phenotype to support intervention strategies for high-need, high-cost (HNHC) patients. INSIGHT’s data linkage service allowed my research team to integrate clinical, Medicare claims, and social determinant data sets, thereby exponentially deepening the characterization of HCHN patients. INSIGHT’s technical assistance for CMS applications also allowed us to acquire Medicare data on 1 million patients.
Photo of Dr. Kaushal
Rainu Kaushal, M.D., MPH
Senior Associate Dean, Clinical Research
Chair, Population Health Sciences
Nanette Laitman Distinguished
Professor of Population Health Sciences
Weill Cornell Medicine
For those of us studying population health in the NYC area, INSIGHT offers timely, standardized data on millions of residents. Working with the INSIGHT team is terrific! 
It’s invaluable having a group of experts deeply knowledgeable on the Common Data Model to collaborate with us and facilitate access to the data 
we need.
Lorna E. Thorpe, Ph.D., MPH
Professor of Epidemiology
Director of the Division of Epidemiology
Vice Chair of Strategy and Planning,
Department of Population Health
NYU Grossman School of Medicine

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