GE, UPMC launch $40M company to digitize pathology

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UPMC has piloted projects to create technological infrastructure for digital pathology. Source: Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center  

GE Healthcare and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) have formed a new company to improve the diagnosis and interpretation of lab results by digitizing the pathology process.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that GE and UPMC are each putting $20 million into the new company.

The new joint company, Omnyx, LLC, will bring to market digital solutions to a science that has relied on glass slides and microscopes for more than 125 years, UPMC and GE said. Omnyx is the first company in GE’s history to be formed with an academic medical center and represents an aim to accelerate ideas to market through enhanced co-development, according to the company.

Omnyx’s digital platform will seek to enable clinicians to share images virtually, interpret results using advanced algorithms and reduce costs associated with diagnosis, according to Omnyx. The venture said it aims to reduce medical errors, improve turn-around time for lab results and integrate pathology information as part of an EMR.

GE and UPMC have appointed Gene Cartwright, a 26-year healthcare veteran and former president of GE Healthcare’s molecular diagnostics, as CEO of Omnyx.

“This new company will revolutionize patient care and expand GE vision for Early Health – the ability to diagnose disease at the earliest possible stage, which in turn can lead to more effective treatment and monitoring,” said Cartwright. “Digitizing pathology will allow Omnyx to provide doctors with better tools for the full care continuum, enhancing their decision-making capabilities in key disease areas.”

Building on early developments in GE’s Global Research Center, Omnyx said it will unite UPMC’s pioneering developments in digital pathology with GE’s technology to create a viable solution for high-volume clinical use.

Operating as an independent company, with financial support from both GE and UPMC, Omnyx will be governed by an executive board, including Mark Little, senior vice president and director of GE’s Global Research Center; Vishal Wanchoo, president and CEO of GE Healthcare IT; Dan Drawbaugh, chief information officer at UPMC; Stephen Boochever at executive vice president of UPMC’s international and commercial services division.

Omnyx will be located at a new headquarters in Pittsburgh, with additional offices in Piscataway, N.J., and other GE Healthcare facilities, according to the venture. The state of Pennsylvania is providing Omnyx with $180,000 to support the creation of at least 40 high-tech jobs within the company over the next three years, according to Omnyx.