Partnership Seeks to Unify Oncology Patient Data Across Nova Scotia

Jan. 8, 2024
Varian, Nova Scotia Health say they are building the foundation of a unified cancer care network

The largest provider of health services in Nova Scotia has announced a multi-disciplinary oncology partnership with Varian, a Siemens Healthineers company. Nova Scotia Health plans to unify oncology patient data across oncology disciplines throughout the province by installing a suite of Varian software.

Nova Scotia has a population of over 1 million with an incidence of cancer that is above average. Together, Nova Scotia Health and Varian said they aim to catalyze change and improve survival rates by building the oncology ecosystem of the future. Varian said it is working on optimizing patient care across the cancer care pathway by creating solutions to enhance workflows, improve efficiencies, and make treatments more precise.

Since December 2022, Varian and Nova Scotia Health have collaborated to build the foundation of a unified, connected cancer care network. The newly announced deal is a 10-year, $175 million (Canadian) expansion of this effort.

From a single source, care teams across the province will possess a more holistic understanding of their patients and gain deeper insights to deliver more personalized care, Varian said. To enhance adoption of these Nova Scotia care teams will leverage Varian's Advanced Oncology Solutions (AOS) professional services to provide overall cancer operations support and to continue to advance the provincial oncology program.

Nova Scotia Health will upgrade its radiation treatment systems to the Ethos radiotherapy systems with HyperSight imaging. The Ethos system leverages artificial intelligence with the goal to improve precision and speed during treatment delivery. These products aim to expedite care decisions, enhance precision of treatment, and save patients time during treatment.

The partners also highlighted the opportunity for economic growth. Varian will establish a new office in Halifax in the first half of 2024 and has committed $50 million (Canadian) in payroll and rent over the 10 years, providing a minimum of 60 jobs in Nova Scotia over that period.  

From its Nova Scotia office, Varian will work to develop a digital imaging concept, with feedback from Nova Scotia Health. In addition, Varian said that Nova Scotia Health will be able to leverage the expertise of Siemens Healthineers in the area of artificial intelligence as an incubator for new products and solutions. If the digital imaging concept is successfully commercialized, Varian will establish a multi-disciplinary oncology partnership innovation fund for future Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub projects.  

"Fixing healthcare in our province means keeping pace with the latest advancements in technology, equipment, and training," said Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston, in a statement. "This partnership will foster a future where cancer care is a journey filled with hope, support, and unparalleled advancements.”

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