GE Healthcare (Barrington, Ill.) and Pittsburgh, Penn.-based UPMC announced today that their imaging joint venture, Omnyx, is initiating clinical research testing of a breakthrough digital pathology platform that is expected to help transform the 125-year-old practice of pathologists using glass slides. By digitizing the slides and corresponding workflow, the Omnyx technology is intended to do what a traditional microscope cannot—unite an entire pathology department and improve collaboration, communication and efficiency, with the potential for better patient care. Omnyx has initiated research testing of the technology at three sites in the U.S and a fourth in Canada.
The technology is part of GE Healthcare’s $6 billion healthymagination initiative to improve cost, quality and access in healthcare, and another example of GE Healthcare’s commitment to investing in innovative bioscience technologies. The Omnyx joint venture was inspired in 2008 by a ground-breaking discovery at GE Healthcare’s Global Research Center, where scientists developed a patented dual-camera scanning technology that can digitize glass pathology slides at a fast pace without loss of optical quality.
The new technology – which will be a truly integrated digital pathology solution – is a combination of patented scanners that boost scan speed by using one camera to scan the slide and a second to simultaneously focus, new imaging software for highest-quality images, and an information technology backbone that digitizes a pathology department’s workflow. The digital tools are designed to transform the practice of pathologists using glass slides, microscopes and manual paperwork to advance patient cases.