GE and the Government of Ontario Establish First Global Digital Pathology Centre of Excellence to Improve Patient Care
New Global Centre Builds on GE's MOU agreement with Ontario Government and GE's $6 billion healthymagination Commitment to Improve Cost, Quality and Access to Healthcare
Toronto, January 27, 2011 - GE announced an agreement to establish its first Global Pathology Imaging Centre of Excellence in Toronto, Ontario. GE and its digital pathology joint venture, Omnyx™, will invest $7.75M along with a $2.25M grant from the Health Technology Commercialization Program created by HTX (Health Technology Exchange) and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. Planned collaborative research and development partnerships will bring an additional $7.2M, for a total investment of $17.2M over the next 3 years.
January 26's announcement builds on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) GE signed with the Ontario government in September 2009 to partner and invest long-term within the province. The Centre's creation will drive research and development, create 15 new innovation-related jobs and facilitate global collaboration.
"Today's (January 26) announcement is an excellent example of how business and government can partner to develop innovative technologies that address Ontario healthcare challenges while having applicability to patient care globally," noted Elyse Allan, President & CEO, GE Canada.
"The Centre of Excellence is expected to create best practices and develop digital technologies to address critical issues including access to pathologists regardless of where a patient or specialist is located, confidence in pathology services, improved turnaround times and greater collaboration among specialists," said Peter Robertson, Vice President & General Manager of GE Healthcare, Canada.
GE's breakthrough technology extends beyond slide digitization to enable pathology departments to improve the efficiency of the entire pathology process including better communication and collaboration, which could help enhance the quality of patient care. The new centre will open in spring 2011.
"The Omnyx joint venture was inspired in 2008 by a ground-breaking discovery at GE's Global Research Center. The breakthrough technology is part of our global $6 billion healthymagination initiative to improve cost, quality and access in healthcare. Our partnership with the Ontario government has facilitated today's (January 26) investment."
John Rice, Vice Chairman, President & CEO, Global Growth & Operations, GE
"This innovative technology will improve health care for Ontarians by ensuring diagnoses are accurate, consistent and delivered as quickly as possible. It will also help position Ontario as one of the world's top imaging clusters, attracting new companies in the field and creating high-paying jobs."
Glen Murray, Minister of Research and Innovation
"This demonstrates the level of innovation and health care excellence available here in Ontario. Our government congratulates GE Healthcare for establishing this critical Centre of Excellence. Our Memorandum of Understanding with GE continues to pay off with new investments and new jobs. This latest announcement is a major step forward in health care for people in Ontario and around the world."
Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Economic Development and Trade
"The Centre is a perfect example of how HTX funding can facilitate medtech investment and job growth to Ontario. This project not only supports the transformation of pathology in Ontario, it will also export those innovations to the global market and be a platform for additional medtech company creation in Ontario."
John Soloninka, President & CEO, HTX, the Health Technology Exchange
"Omnyx is exclusively focused on digital pathology innovation. The centre is a significant financial and technical commitment by Omnyx to the future of this technology. Ontario and its world renowned healthcare and research institutions represent like-minded partners for the development of pathology imaging and computer aided diagnostics innovations and best practices that can enhance patient care and reduce costs - not only benefiting citizens of Ontario, but those throughout the world."
Rajiv Enand, Senior Vice President Business Development, Omnyx
"Digitizing pathology is the next big step for pathology - it's critical in revolutionizing the practice. As a pioneer in the field of digital pathology, Canada has the opportunity to lead the world in digital pathology technology and care. We look forward to defining projects with the centre to advance the use of digital pathology."
Dr. Sylvia Asa, pathologist-in-chief and medical director at University Health Network
"A new innovative digital pathology solution is crucial in providing better care for cancer patients. GE's investment in a Global Pathology Imaging Centre of Excellence in Ontario is a great win for Canada and has the potential to revolutionize pathology and the delivery of healthcare."
Dr. Tom Hudson, President and Scientific Director, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
"A collaborative digital pathology solution has the ability to transform patient care for Canadians and give pathologists across the country, regardless of their location, the ability to collaborate and improve the workflow needed for improved patient diagnosis."
Dr. Martin Yaffe, Associate Director, Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization (CiMTec)
- There is a shortage of pathologists in Canada. Today, there is a need for an additional 370 pathologists. By 2020 the country will need an additional 820 pathologists.
- An aging and growing population has been linked to a rising incidence of cancer increasing the need for timely access to pathology.
- Pathologists are handling workloads greater than the recommended benchmark established by the Canadian Association of Pathologists
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