Jul 21, 2021

Unilabs and Ibex to deploy AI cancer tool across Europe

diagnostics
Cancer
AI
healthcare
2 min
Unilabs and Ibex to deploy AI cancer tool across Europe
Unilabs has signed a deal with Ibex to roll out its AI-driven cancer diagnostics platform across Europe

Diagnostics firm Unilabs has signed a deal with Ibex Medical Analytics that will see Ibex's AI platform for diagnosing cancer rolled out across 16 European countries. 

The multi-tissue AI-powered Galen™ platform helps clinicians diagnose cancer quickly and accurately. Using algorithms developed with advanced machine learning, the Galen platform is trained to analyse images from tissue biopsies, providing insights to pathologists. 

These insights include case prioritisations, cancer heatmaps, tumour grading and measurement, and streamlined reporting tools. 

The Galen platform is CE marked for breast and prostate cancer detection in multiple workflows, and was recently granted Breakthrough Device Designation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

"This cutting-edge AI technology will help our teams quickly prioritise urgent cases, speed up diagnosis, and improve quality by adding an extra set of digital eyes” Dr Christian Rebhan, Unilabs’ Chief Medical and Operations Officer explained. 

“When it comes to cancer, the earlier you catch it, the better the prognosis – so getting us critical results faster will help save lives. The partnership with Ibex underlines Unilabs’ pioneering role in digital pathology and represents yet another step in our ambition to become the most digitally enabled provider of diagnostic services in Europe.”

Unilabs is one of Europe’s largest diagnostics companies, and has been heavily invested in the COVID-19 response. Using dedicated new labs in Portugal, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the UAE, the company has capacity to process more than 500,000 COVID-19 tests per week.

It is the first pan-European diagnostics provider to deploy the Galen platform. The roll out will begin in Sweden, before being implemented across the continent. 

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Jul 25, 2021

Getting ready for cloud data-driven healthcare

Data
healthcare
CloudComputing
Technology
 Joe Gaska
4 min
Getting ready for cloud data-driven healthcare
 Joe Gaska, CEO of GRAX, tells us how healthcare providers can become cloud-based and data-driven organisations

As healthcare continues to recognise the value of data and digital transformation, many organisations are relying on the cloud to make their future-forward and data-centric thinking a reality. In fact, the global healthcare cloud computing market was valued at approximately $18 billion and is expected to generate around $61 billion USD by 2025. 

At the forefront of these changes is the rapid adoption of cloud-based, or software-as-a-service (SaaS), applications. These apps can be used to handle patient interactions, track prescriptions, care, billing and more, and the insights derived from this important data can vastly improve operations, procurement and courses of treatment. However, before healthcare organisations can begin to dream about a true data-driven future, they have to deal with a data-driven dilemma: compliance. 

Meeting regulation requirements

It’s no secret that healthcare is a highly regulated industry when it comes to data and privacy – and rightfully so. Patient records contain extremely sensitive data that, if changed or erased, could cost someone their life. This is why healthcare systems rely on legacy technologies, like Cerner and Epic EHRs, to manage patient information – the industry knows the vendors put an emphasis on making them as secure as possible.

Yet when SaaS applications are introduced and data starts being moved into them, compliance gets complicated. For example, every time a new application is introduced into an organisation, that organisation must have the vendor complete a BAA (Business Associate Agreement). This agreement essentially puts the responsibility for the safety of patients’ information — maintaining appropriate safeguards and complying with regulations — on the vendor.

However, even with these agreements in place, healthcare systems still are at risk of failing to meet compliance requirements. To comply with HIPAA, U.S. Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 11 and other regulations that stipulate the need to exercise best practices to keep electronic patient data safe, healthcare organisations must maintain comprehensive audit trails – something that gets increasingly difficult when data sits in an application that resides in the vendor’s infrastructure.

Additionally, data often does not stay in the applications – instead healthcare users download, save and copy it into other business intelligence tools, creating data sprawl across the organisation and exposing patient privacy to greater risk. 

With so many of these tools that are meant to spur growth and more effective care creating compliance challenges, it begs the question: how can healthcare organisations take advantage of the data they have without risking non-compliance?

Data ownership

Yes, healthcare organisations can adhere to regulations while also getting valuable insights from the wealth of data they have available. However, to help do this, organisations must own their data. This means data must be backed up and stored in an environment that they have control over, rather than in the SaaS vendors’ applications.

Backing up historical SaaS application data directly from an app into an organisation’s own secure cloud infrastructure, such as AWS or Microsoft Azure, makes it easier, and less costly, to maintain a digital chain of custody – or a trail of the different touchpoints of data. This not only increases the visibility and auditability of that data, but organisations can then set appropriate controls around who can access the data.

Likewise, having data from these apps located in one central, easily accessible location can decrease the number of copies floating around an organisation, reducing the surface area of exposure while also making it easier for organisations to securely pull data into business intelligence tools. 

When healthcare providers have unfettered access to all their historical data, the possibilities for growth and insights are endless. For example, having ownership and ready access to authorised data can help organisations further implement and support outcome-based care. Insights enabled by this data will help inform diagnoses, prescriptions, treatment plans and more, which benefits not only the patient, but the healthcare ecosystem as a whole. 

To keep optimising and improving care, healthcare systems must take advantage of new tools like SaaS applications. By backing up and owning their historical SaaS application data, they can do so while minimising the risk to patient privacy or compliance requirements. Having this ownership and access can propel healthcare organisations to be more data-driven – creating better outcomes for everyone. 

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