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Nova Scotia Health and Varian enter 10-year, $130 million oncology partnership

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | January 09, 2024
Artificial Intelligence Rad Oncology Parts And Service
Taigh Ma Nara, a hospital under Nova Scotia Health (Photo courtesy of Nova Scotia Health)
Over the next ten years, Nova Scotia Health, in Canada, will work with Varian, a Siemens Healthineers company, to break down data silos and create unified access to patient information for its oncology sites across the province, as well as update its radiotherapy technology, as part of a CA$175 million (over $130.9 million) multidisciplinary oncology partnership.

The healthcare system, which employs 24,000 individuals and has 100 locations and facilities, will adopt Varian’s suite of software to create a single access point to diverse forms of oncology data so that providers can offer more personalized and holistic care and to advance its provincial oncology program.

Additionally, it will replace its current radiation treatment solutions with Ethos radiotherapy systems with HyperSight imaging, which uses AI to make real-time adaptations for dose delivery during procedures. It will also optimize its operations with Varian's Advanced Oncology Solutions (AOS) professional services.

"This agreement brings to life our shared commitment to providing solutions across the cancer care continuum by addressing the needs of clinicians, program leaders, and the patients we all ultimately serve,” said Arthur Kaindl, head of Varian, in a statement.

Approved by the FDA in February 2023, the Ethos system with HyperSight imaging calculates and adapts dose distribution during treatment on cone-beam CT scans, saving patients time from having to undergo a separate CT scan for simulation and planning beforehand. The adaptations account for anatomical changes to tumors and surrounding organs.

HyperSight’s CBCT technology also produces larger images with better contrast and is ten times faster than conventional linac imaging systems.

Varian’s Advanced Oncology Solutions optimizes staffing, drives resource utilization, adds new treatment capabilities, and connects fragmented siloes. It facilitates access to clinical services and experts, oncology-specific expertise for use of Varian products, and customized hardware and software solutions.

Varian will create a new office in Halifax in the first half of 2024 to develop a digital imaging concept in collaboration with Nova Scotia Health, which, in turn, will work with Siemens Healthineers to design AI-based products and solutions. It has committed CA$50 million (over $37 million) in payroll and rent over the next 10 years and will provide a minimum of 60 jobs.

If the digital imaging concept is successfully commercialized, Varian will also create an MDOP Innovation Fund for future Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub projects.

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