GE, Roche to Develop Digital Data Platform for Cancer Care

Jack Murtha

How the 2 titans plan to promote precision medicine.

Image has been resized. Courtesy of GE Healthcare.

The medical diagnostics leaders Roche and GE Healthcare are joining forces to build and sell data-driven digital solutions for cancer diagnostics and care, forging a powerful marriage that could shape the future of analytics-fueled oncology and more.

At first, the “strategic, long-term” union will center on innovations that aim to speed up and optimized personalized treatment paths for patients with cancer and those in critical care, according to the companies’ press releases. They plan to develop a digital platform that leverages analytics to yield workflow solutions, along with apps that aid clinical decision-making.

“This unique partnership will deliver innovative solutions and insights in clinical decision-making,” Roland Diggelmann, CEO of Roche Diagnostics, said in a statement. “Our goal is to support clinicians and other relevant stakeholders for the benefit of patients by providing the right decision support at the right time and through comprehensive digital offerings.”

Ultimately, they said, the arrangement will spark the “seamless integration and analysis” of GE’s in-vivo data from medical imaging and monitoring devices and Roche’s in-vitro data from biomarkers, tissue pathology, genomics, and sequencing. Combined with patient records, best practices, and real-time information, the trove of data will empower providers to make the best possible treatment decisions for a given patient, according to Roche and GE.

How will that look? Across an oncology team, various specialists will gain access to a single data dashboard, fostering review, collaboration, and alignment regarding treatment decisions, according to the organizations. The anticipated end result: Clinicians may identify complications—or even predict them beforehand.

“This is the first time that 2 major players in healthcare have combined advanced analytics with in-vivo and in-vitro diagnostics to this degree,” GE Healthcare’s CEO and president, Kieran Murphy, said in a statement. “We believe this alliance will help accelerate the delivery of data-driven precision health for customers, patients, and the healthcare industry.”

Although the move follows an ever-expanding spate of high-profile partnerships and mergers steeped in data or precision medicine, the exceptionally high standings of both Roche and GE make it something of a standout. Exactly what kinds of results the partnership will yield and when it will yield them remain unclear.