PITTSBURGH, Nov. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Omnyx, LLC, a joint venture of GE Healthcare and UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center), has joined with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and a cross-sector coalition of industry, non-profits and professional societies in a global initiative to help provide patients in underserved areas of Sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti access to rapid cancer diagnostics and appropriate care and treatment.
Cancer is a critical public health problem in Africa. Approximately 650,000 people in Africa develop cancer annually, and about 510,000 cancer deaths occur annually due to limited treatment. More than one-third of the cancer deaths in Africa are from cancers that are easily preventable and/or treatable, if detected early. But Sub-Saharan countries simply lack the personnel, training resources and infrastructure needed to respond to the growing cancer challenge.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, there is less than one pathologist per one million people. Swaziland has one pathologist serving the entire country's population of two million. In contrast, the United States has more than 60 pathologists per one million people. Without diagnostics, clinicians in Sub-Saharan Africa are unable to effectively screen for cancer, diagnose disease and develop care plans. This results in the majority of cancers not being diagnosed until they reach an advanced stage of disease.
"Technology serves as an enabler of clinician collaboration, and we believe patients benefit the most," said Mamar Gelaye, CEO of Omnyx. "We are proud to be engaged in an effort that has such a positive impact on rural/community health in Africa."
Omnyx is providing its whole slide imaging scanners and workflow software as part of the Partners for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Africa Global Initiative to enable pathologists in one part of the world to quickly view tissue images from patients thousands of miles away. ASCP pathologists in the US will view processed biopsy slides from patients in Africa, diagnose the patient and upload their findings within 24-72 hours.
ASCP, the world's largest professional membership organization for pathologists and laboratory professionals, will lead the coalition, which will include the internationally-renowned Partners in Health led by public health expert Paul Farmer, MD; the American Cancer Society; the Institute for Health Measurement and Evaluation; Union International Cancer Control; Sakura Finetek; Roche Diagnostics; Pfizer and Omnyx, LLC.
"By leveraging leap frog technology and the skills and experience of ASCP members, clinicians in Sub-Saharan Africa can have access to quality real-time cancer diagnostics, allowing them to detect cancers and subsequently treat patients more quickly," said ASCP Chief Executive Officer, E. Blair Holladay, PhD, SCT(ASCP)CM. "ASCP and partners will develop and administer an economical, scalable, secure, and reliable cloud-based infrastructure and telemedicine platform to register specimens, record findings, and disseminate diagnostic results to local clinicians who can implement patient management. Through this commitment, local clinicians in Sub-Saharan Africa will be able to provide a level of diagnostic care currently scarce or unavailable locally."
To date, ASCP has secured a $26.5 million commitment of infrastructure, funding and in-kind resources for the project.
Omnyx, LLC, a joint venture of GE Healthcare and the UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center), is helping to transform the way pathologists worldwide work and collaborate. Through our Precision Solution™ that includes smart scanners, brilliant software and transformative consulting, all members of the cancer care team can work together to enhance patient outcomes. Our vision is a world in which efficient and effective cancer diagnosis helps guide personalized patient care. Omnyx® products are for in vitro diagnostic use for specific clinical applications and are intended for research use only on other applications. For more information, visit www.Omnyx.com.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients. www.gehealthcare.com
A world-renowned health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of accountable, cost-effective, patient-centered care. It provides more than $888 million a year in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region's most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates 60,000 employees, more than 20 hospitals, more than 500 doctors' offices and outpatient sites, a 2.8-million-member health insurance division, and international and commercial operations. Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC ranks No. 13 in the prestigious U.S. News & World Report annual Honor Roll of America's Best Hospitals. For more information, go to UPMC.com.
In the European Union, the Omnyx™ IDP System is CE Marked under the European Union's 'In Vitro Diagnostics Directive' for in vitro diagnostic use with the VL4 and VL120 Scanners and Digital Pathology Software (DPS). In Canada, the Omnyx™ IDP is licensed by Health Canada for in vitro diagnostic use with the VL4 and VL120 Scanners and DPS. In the United States, the Omnyx™ IDP System, consisting of the DPS and VL4 Scanner, is cleared by the US Food & Drug Administration for in vitro diagnostic use for Manual Read of the Digital HER2 Application. In the United States, the Omnyx VL120 Scanner is for Research Use Only.
SOURCE Omnyx, LLC