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Dec. 3, 2010 | Volume 21, No. 12

Omnyx taking pathology to where it needs to be


Many decades into the digital revolution, the field of pathology continues to present technical challenges that have thwarted advances in medical imaging and information processing. Pathology remains a world of glass slides and traditional microscopy. But dramatic change is on the horizon, and a UPMC company is helping to speed the transformation.

Omnyx LLC, a joint venture of UPMC and GE Healthcare, has begun clinical testing of an innovative system for digitizing, viewing, storing, and distributing pathology samples. The Omnyx™ integrated digital pathology system replaces tissue slices on slides with ultra-high-resolution digital images created by powerful new scanners developed by GE Healthcare. The images can be viewed and analyzed by pathologists with greater speed, accuracy, productivity, and ease of collaboration and consultation than is possible with old-fashioned glass slides. Pathologists eventually will be able to locate and share these “digital slides” as efficiently as their colleagues in other fields share images from x-rays and CT scans.

UPMC’s collaboration with GE Healthcare has been spearheaded by UPMC’s International and Commercial Services Division. Pathologists from UPMC hospitals and the Department of Pathology of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine provided the clinical expertise, enabling Omnyx to achieve its goal of creating a tool for pathologists designed by pathologists.

A comprehensive clinical trial of the Omnyx system, expected to last about one year, has been launched at UPMC, Stanford University Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, and University Health Network in Toronto. Assuming Omnyx ultimately receives FDA approval, UPMC’s pathology departments will implement a conversion process with the goal of becoming fully digital.

Omnyx also is expected to become a leader in the digital pathology market. The firm already has attracted national attention, and was one of several digital pathology companies featured in the May 2010 issue of Scientific American.










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