Genomics England deploys Sectra’s enterprise imaging solution in groundbreaking cancer data program

Feb 27, 2023 | Medical Systems | United Kingdom

Linköping, Sweden – February 27, 2023 – International medical imaging IT and cybersecurity company Sectra (STO: SECT B) has now deployed its enterprise imaging system at Genomics England. The platform will handle radiology and pathology imaging from a large number of NHS trusts and as such support a world-leading initiative for cancer research. The program is combining whole genome sequencing, pathology and radiology data in what has been described as the largest multimodal cancer research platform in the world.

First announced in 2022 as a means to support new discoveries, Genomics England’s program will help a wide range of researchers and scientists create a better understanding of cancer. Sectra’s solution will play a central role in allowing the organization to bring together imaging and data critical in cancer care, so that researchers and developers from a wide variety of backgrounds can harness it in new ways. The system installation was completed in February 2023 after a contract was awarded earlier in 2022. In particular, the solution will allow Genomics England to incorporate NHS imaging data, while the Sectra Image Exchange Portal, a system used nationally in the NHS, will also allow it to transport images from participating NHS trusts.

This will mean diagnostic imaging data captured in the NHS, including radiology images as well as digital pathology images generated by NHS laboratories, can be linked with whole genome sequencing data from Genomics England.

To begin with, 30 NHS trusts in England are providing data on solid tumors. This includes approximately 250,000 pathology images and 200,000 radiology scans, for 16,000 participants. Once the radiology and pathology data in the system is matched with the genomics data, multimodal data will be used by researchers to investigate and identify markers for cancer diagnostics and treatments.

Information will be kept highly secure with patient identifiable data removed for researchers outside Genomics England, who will only have access to a Genomics England ID number, the age of the participant, and the name of the NHS site at which data was captured.

Dr Prabhu Arumugam, Director of Clinical Data and Imaging, and Caldicott Guardian for Genomics England, says: “This program will push the boundaries of cancer research and how we work. It has the potential to transform clinical trials, change who can do research and development, and lead to the creation of new targeted treatments for cancer patients. The potential is vast. We will be able to understand mutations and when things go wrong in DNA, and importantly, whether that transpires into what clinicians see in medical imaging. We can also expose data to AI in new ways.”

He continues: “Working with Sectra in an innovative way is an important part of our initiative. The imaging system is already a very recognizable interface in NHS clinical settings, but we are using it in new ways. It will help us harness imaging that we can then match to our genomic data, while de-identifying data to ensure confidentiality. The resulting multimodal dataset will enable important research and support a safe and secure but accessible cloud-based research environment. That means many more people than bioinformaticians will be able to harness genomic, pathology and radiology data.”

Deployed in Genomics England’s cloud environment, the new research platform will be easily accessible for users through a secure, fast and reliable interface. This will also provide the flexibility to scale the initiative as more users come on board, and as the program potentially expands to support research for non-cancers in the future.

Sectra’s enterprise imaging system is widely used in the NHS, where it supports healthcare professionals in diagnosing patient illnesses.

“This is an inspirational initiative that could help to change our understanding of cancers and other illnesses. We have been working with the NHS for decades to deliver digital maturity to diagnostic environments including radiology and pathology. This project makes greater use of that work, with exciting possibilities for research that could be immense. I eagerly look forward to seeing research emerge, and from that the potential for life-changing and life-saving treatments for patients,” says Jane Rendall, Managing Director of Sectra UK and Ireland.

Sectra’s enterprise imaging solution provides a unified strategy for all imaging needs while lowering operational costs. The scalable and modular solution, with a VNA at its core, allows healthcare providers to grow from ology to ology and from enterprise to enterprise. Visit Sectra’s website to read more about Sectra and why it’s top-ranked in “Best in KLAS”.

About Sectra
Sectra contributes to a healthier and safer society by assisting health systems throughout the world to enhance the efficiency of care, and authorities and defense forces in Europe to protect society’s most sensitive information. The company, founded in 1978, is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, with direct sales in 19 countries, and distribution partners worldwide. Sales in the 2021/2022 fiscal year totaled SEK 1,949 million. The Sectra share is quoted on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange. For more information, visit Sectra’s website.