determine reimbursement for care. Although the Committee was cognizant that any new-taxonomy initiative must serve the needs of the ICD and related classification systems, it concluded that this goal could best be met by rooting future improvements in disease classification in an “Information Commons” and “Knowledge Network” that would play many other roles, as well. The Committee envisions these data repositories as essential infrastructure, necessary both for creating the New Taxonomy and, more broadly, for integrating basic biological knowledge with medical histories and health outcomes of individual patients. The Committee believes that building this infrastructure—the Information Commons and Knowledge Network—is a grand challenge that, if met, would both modernize the ways in which biomedical research is conducted and, over time, lead to dramatically improved patient care (see Figure S-1).

The Committee envisions this ambitious program, which would play out on a time scale of decades rather than years, as proceeding through a blend of top-down and bottom-up activity. A major top-down component, initiated by public and private agencies that fund and regulate biomedical research, would be required to ensure that results of individual projects could be combined to

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