Omnyx LLC, the new company formed by GE Healthcare and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), will offer a digital platform designed to improve the speed, efficiency of diagnosis, and interpretation of lab results.
The system will help clinicians share images virtually, interpret results using advanced algorithms, and reduce costs associated with diagnosis.
“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 the company’s CEO Gene Cartwright, a 26-year health care veteran and former president of GE Healthcare’s molecular diagnostics. “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.”
The company is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa, with satellite offices in Piscataway, NJ and at some of GE’s other facilities.
This is the first time GE has partnered with an academic medical center to form a company. Its researchers—biologists, applied physicists, visualization scientists, mechanical and electrical engineers, high-performance computer scientists, and optical engineers—toiled for three years to develop the first prototypes.
The new enterprise will merge UPMC’s developments in digital pathology with GE’s technology to create a solution for high-volume clinical use, building on early developments in GE’s global research center.
“Digital pathology provides a platform for the creation of new tools that will help pathologists screen large numbers of slides in search of a small nest of cells or a few bacteria to quickly and accurately diagnose disease,” said George K. Michalopoulos, MD, PhD, professor and chairman of the Department of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh and pathologist at UPMC.
Jeffrey Romoff, the university’s president and CEO, said the collaboration would help address critical cost and quality issues facing health care. “The formation of Omnyx underscores UPMC’s strategy of leveraging its medical, technology, and research expertise to create solutions that benefit patients worldwide,” he said. “At the same time, this new, Pittsburgh-based company will contribute to the continuing revitalization of the economy of western Pennsylvania.”
Operating as an independent company with financial support from the two entities, the company 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, GE Healthcare IT; Dan Drawbaugh, chief information officer, UPMC; Stephen Boochever, executive VP, UPMC’s international and commercial services division.
The investment is part of UPMC’s plan to commercialize its health care, technology, and management experience to benefit patients in its network. UPMC formed a joint development partnership two years ago with GE. The state of Pennsylvania ponied up $180,000 to foster at least 40 high-tech jobs over the next three years.
UPMC is an integrated global health enterprise and one of the top non-profit health systems nationwide. It ranks as western Pennsylvania’s largest employer—with 48,000 employees and nearly $7 billion in revenue—and is helping transform the region’s economy into a medicine, research, and technology engine.
By integrating 20 hospitals, 400 physicians’ offices and outpatient sites, long-term care facilities, and a major insurance plan, UPMC has advanced the health care operations and developed internationally renowned programs in transplantation, cancer, neurosurgery, psychiatry, orthopedics, and sports medicine. The university is commercializing its medical and technological experience by nurturing new companies, developing strategic business relationships with some of the world’s leading multinational corporations, and expanding into international markets, such as Italy, Ireland, the UK, and Qatar.
GE Healthcare specializes in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient-monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies.