Digitizing This Vital Corner of Healthcare

Digitizing This Vital Corner of Healthcare

April 07, 2015 at 03:04pm

In our increasingly digitized world, it’s hard to believe that in the critical field of healthcare, one vital part of the diagnosis and treatment process has not yet entered the digital age.

This area is “histopathology” — the examination of body tissue under a microscope and an important sub-sector of the broader pathology field. Pathology, in turn, is a component of nearly 95% of all healthcare treatment processes, as it helps doctors diagnose disease, assess patient progress and monitor patient response to treatment. Histopathology is particularly relevant in the treatment of diseases such as cancer.

The problem is that conventional histopathology involved either physically bringing tissue slides to the pathologist for review under a microscope, or having the pathologist come to view the slides. This can result in delays; it increases risks related to lost or damaged slides in transit, and it hinders cross-specialization collaboration.

To address this challenge, a GE Healthcare – UPMC joint venture has developed a technology system to digitize this process. The Omynx Integrated Digital Pathology system allows pathologists to view tissue samples in high resolution on a computer from any location around the world. Once these tissues have been processed onto slides, the Omynx Digital system then scans them into the pathology computer system so that pathologists can access them securely and quickly.

For patients, this means quicker, more nuanced diagnoses and an earlier start to treatment since disease sub-specialists can contribute to diagnosis and treatment, no matter where they are.

GE Healthcare unveiled Omynx and its comprehensive portfolio of Digital Pathology solutions at the Ministry of Health and HIMSS Middle East Conference & Exhibition 2015.

Through its participation in the event, GE Healthcare underlined its support to the Saudi Ministry of Health’s e-Strategy, which is set to redefine the future of healthcare delivery in the Kingdom, and its e-Health management program to address the rising incidence of lifestyle diseases.

Some of the GE Healthcare IT solutions showcased at the exhibition support the Saudi Health Information Exchange (SeHE) initiative of the ministry that seeks to build the Interoperable Electronic Health Record (iEHR), the Health Service Bus (HSB) and related infrastructure. GE’s IT solutions will enable healthcare providers to share and exchange clinical data about patients and their care through SeHE, iEHR and HSB. This, in turn, will transform healthcare outcomes by providing comprehensive and quick patient care.

Caradigm, a population health company formed by GE Healthcare and Microsoft in 2012, also was present to share its portfolio of solutions to enable health systems and Integrated Delivery Networks (IDN) to improve population health.

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