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Children’s hospital, Silicon Valley to market medical research software

Wed, 10/31/2012 - 10:18pm

The latest significant biomedical informatics technology is not coming from the biotech industry or a university. In fact, it’s coming from a children’s hospital.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and Transformatix Technologies, Inc., in Davis, California, have partnered to create BioLinQ, a new biomedical informatics company designed to supply advanced software solutions for disease diagnosis and medical research.

“Years of development at Nationwide Children’s Hospital funded in part by the National Institutes of Health have laid the foundation for very mature, high-end solutions in digital pathology, biospecimen analysis and biorepository management,” says Ken Murray, founder and CEO, Transformatix Technologies, Inc. “With the growth of molecular technology and the advent of personalized medicine, BioLinQ is poised to have a significant impact upon the diagnostic and research capabilities in hospitals, academic research centers and the pharmaceutical industry.”

The vision of the late Stephen J. Qualman, MD, who developed the Biopathology Center at Nationwide Children’s, provided the foundation to advance the hospital’s capabilities in the field of pathology, as well as biobanking and sophisticated digital analysis. Software solutions developed at Nationwide Children’s answer the needs for highly defined biospecimen analysis, workflow management, long-distance collaboration and efficient management of laboratory and biorepository functions.  

“We are seeing, with the implementation of our software, the optimization of the scientific review process for translational research. The solutions also provide visualization into the multiple dynamics of clinical trial data to aid in clinical study design,” explains Dave Billiter, director, Informatics, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “For example, we have a cancer consortium which called for patients to receive rapid review in order to qualify for a specific trial. Because we had this powerful suite of software, we were able to quickly accommodate the consortium and more importantly enroll the patients in the study.”

Functionalities encompassed in the BioLinQ suite of solutions include:

  • A web-based software solution combining the operation and pathology workflow functionality with a backend database to manage and support the use of digital pathology and virtual microscopy.  This solution provides workflow management, image viewer, and image file format conversion capabilities using an advanced imaging framework.
  • A high-end web-based software solution supporting the data chain of custody from acquisition of a consented patient sample to the testing laboratory and through complex analysis.  This solution was built with advanced programmatic techniques, with an easy-to-use data storing, organizing, and manipulating program.  It combines disparate data sources throughout a research study in a scalable, structured fashion, regardless of an investigator’s physical location.  The solution also provides a scientific dashboard and interactive query.
  • A web-based solution supporting laboratory information management activities.  It provides the functional best practices in managing a biorepository, whether the repository is advanced or early-stage. This solution provides the capabilities to track a specimen throughout its repository chain of custody with full reporting and audit trail functionality.

BioLinQ will be located at the DEC in Dublin, Ohio. The City of Dublin, in partnership with TechColumbus, created the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center, or DEC, to tap into the energy of the many ideas generated in the Central Ohio community and to support the creation and development of new technologies, businesses and jobs.

Source: Nationwide Children's Hospital

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