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Press Release

GE's First Global "Pathology Innovation Centre of Excellence" Opens in Toronto

May 31, 2011

New MaRS Global Centre Builds on GE's $6 Billion healthymagination Commitment to Improve Access, Quality and Cost and GE's MOU with Ontario Government

TORONTO-MAY 31, 2011- Today, GE opened its first global "Pathology Innovation Centre of Excellence" (PICOE), located at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto. In this new research and development centre, GE will collaborate with its digital pathology joint venture, Omnyx™, along with funding partner, HTX (Health Technology Exchange) and numerous clinical partners to create best practices and technologies to address current pathology challenges.

This new centre has the potential to revolutionize pathology through digital innovation. Developing products and processes to increase patient access to skilled pathologists and to empower pathologists with tools for more efficient, consistent and accurate examination will be part of the Centre's focus. By tackling issues of cost, quality and access of pathology services, the Centre is a core component of GE's healthymagination business strategy. PICOE 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.

GE was attracted to Canada because of the expertise and leadership in digital pathology adoption in centres like Toronto, as well as the innovative and collaborative culture. MaRS, a leading innovation centre, serves as an ideal hub for PICOE given its close proximity to hospitals, highly skilled pathologists, clinical partners and academia.

The new 2,150-square foot centre includes a digital lab where GE will conduct training, research and development on Omnyx™ IDP (Integrated Digital Pathology) platform with clinical collaborators. The lab will house Omnyx's Pathologist and Histology Workstations, as well as showcase Omnyx's VL series of high-resolution scanners which will digitize glass slides.


"PICOE's opening is one way GE is investing and innovating with collaborators to find new ways to address costs, quality and access barriers to health for individuals and entire healthcare systems," said Peter Robertson, Vice President & General Manager of GE Healthcare Canada. "PICOE will create 15 new highly skilled jobs over the next three years and give pathologists and clinical partners the resources to accelerate research and development and testing for new digital pathology solutions. "

"PICOE is an integral component of our strategy to ensure customers get the full value of their adoption of Digital Pathology." said Gene Cartwright, CEO of Omnyx. "We are excited to be part of the vibrant community surrounding the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto."

"We are absolutely delighted to welcome GE Healthcare to the MaRS Centre. GE is a global innovation leader, and their arrival at MaRS affirms their commitment to Ontario and to furthering collaboration with the outstanding science, tech and social innovators in our ecosystem. This decision is timely, as a number of health innovation initiatives in the MaRS community are showing exceptional promise, offering unique opportunities for collaboration and partnership," said Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District.

"The opening of PICOE and hiring of staff are exciting initial milestones, and we look forward to watching the Centre develop quickly" said John Soloninka, President and CEO of HTX - the Health Technology Exchange. "We have already received enquiries about how companies can collaborate with PICOE, and how other Multinational Enterprises can take advantage of the innovation ecosystem that GE has seen in Ontario. This is a very positive step for Ontario medtech commercialization, and one HTX is very pleased to support."

"The opening of this Centre of Excellence is great news for Ontario; digital pathology will help reduce costs and give Ontarians faster and more accurate diagnoses, regardless of their location, " said Glen Murray, Minister of Research and Innovation. "PICOE will also help position Ontario as one of the world's top imaging clusters, attracting new companies and creating high-paying jobs."

QUICK FACTS- Challenges Facing Pathology Today

  • 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.


GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world's toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at In Canada, GE has operations across the country, including major manufacturing, sales and service locations with 8,000 employees. Follow GE Canada on Twitter at: and YouTube at


    GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.

    Our "healthymagination" vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at

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    Healthymagination is GE's $6 billion commitment that was launched in May 2009. Our "healthymagination" vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. For more information, visit:


    Omnyx, LLC is a joint venture of GE Healthcare and The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center with locations in Pittsburgh, PA and Piscataway, NJ. The company is developing an enterprise platform to transform the scope of pathology to an all-digital workflow. Omnyx will offer an enterprise software platform for image management, workflow automation, image analysis algorithms and system integration along with its high speed whole-slide scanners. Close collaboration with pathologists at UPMC and other institutions along with their relationship with GE Healthcare allows Omnyx to focus its innovation on the needs of anatomic pathologists worldwide. Omnyx digital pathology products are currently in development and have not yet been cleared by the US FDA or licensed by Health Canada.


    Sarah Triantafillou
    Communications Manager, GE Healthcare
    (905) 301-3815
    [email protected]

    Sarah Triantafillou
    [email protected]

    business unit