GE venture gains digital pathology patent

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued patent number 7576307 to Omnyx--a joint venture of GE Healthcare and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center--for a digital pathology application, dual-image sensors for rapid autofocusing.

The Pittsburgh-based Omnyx is the sole license holder to the digital pathology technology and is incorporating it into whole-slide scanners. The patent covers a system that uses two image sensors in a digital microscope, with a primary sensor for acquiring images and an auxiliary sensor that surveys focus data.

"Traditional digital pathology systems use only one sensor to perform both tasks. This new concept uses two sensors which allows the whole process to be faster while still taking a huge amount of focus points," said Michael Montalto, PhD, vice president of instrument development for Omnyx.

Products containing the digital pathology technology currently are in development, and are not commercially available, according to the firm.