Vancouver, BC – Genome BC is pleased to announce that it has made its second investment through its Industry Innovation (I²) Program. ViewsIQ, Inc. is a BC-based life science company introducing an innovative digital slide imaging platform (Panoptiq™) that will vastly improve the workflow for pathologists, increasing speed of diagnosis and treatment for patients.
Through integration with a user's existing microscope, Panoptiq takes many tiny fields of view and stitches them together into one panoramic digital image. This software-based approach is significantly more cost-effective than current hardware-based technologies and does not disrupt the existing workflow. This significant advancement has made it practical to digitize pathology samples in the real-world clinical laboratory for the first time.
“The Panoptiq system is market ready, having been extensively tested over the past four years to meet and exceed the needs of the medical and educational industries,” says Herman Lo, CEO, ViewsIQ. “Over 80 units have been sold and cumulative revenues since product launch in 2012 have exceeded $1-million”.
One of the benefits of Panoptiq is that it will increase accessibility to pathology expertise for hospitals, particularly those in remote regions that lack on-site pathology expertise. Rather than waiting several weeks for a diagnosis, Panoptiq offers immediate access to digital images of patient samples which means that diagnoses can be conducted much more quickly.
Panoptiq is integrated seamlessly with its cloud-based sharing platform, the Panoptiq Portal. With a single click, Panoptiq images are uploaded to the Panoptiq Portal, allowing users real-time access to pathology expertise for every subspecialty. Similarly, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and University of British Columbia (UBC)’s pathology residency program at Vancouver General Hospital has integrated Panoptiq into their respective curriculums.
Over three years of market “user-testing” of Panoptiq has resulted in a robust, reliable, and easy-to-use imaging solution that any researcher, educator, laboratory technologist, and pathologist can use with their existing microscope. The potential for ViewsIQ is fast growing: several market research reports predict that the global digital pathology market will grow from nearly US$3.2 billion in 2015 to nearly US$6.5 billion by 2020.
“Genome BC’s $500,000 investment into ViewsIQ, along with matching funding from private BC investors and NRC-IRAP, will support the global expansion of the Panoptiq customer and distributor base, the rollout of a Software as a Service (SaaS) pricing model, and the launch of the cloud-based Panoptiq Portal system” said Dr. Pascal Spothelfer, President and CEO, Genome BC.
Genome BC’s I² Fund provides commercialization support for companies developing innovative life science technologies that address biological challenges in key economic sectors in BC: Agriculture, Energy and Mining, Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forestry, and Human Health. The I² Fund will also support digital health and other technologies that will further move precision medicine into clinical practice. I² funding is repayable and is allocated to promising technologies (products, processes or services) at the early stages of commercial development. The Fund aims to provide risk capital that is concurrently matched by other public or private funding sources.