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Varian and Icon collab on patient-centric radiotherapy solutions

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | May 05, 2022
Artificial Intelligence Health IT Rad Oncology
Siemens and Icon will together develop patient-centric solutions for radiotherapy.
Siemens Healthineers company Varian will conduct research with Icon Group cancer network over the next five years and use new techniques to develop patient-centric solutions in radiotherapy.

With more than 2.5 million patient interactions annually, Icon is the largest cancer care network in the Asia Pacific and headquartered in Brisbane, Australia. The organizations will work together in clinical and technical research programs, product evaluation projects and clinical consultations. Varian will incorporate Icon’s clinical expertise and industry insights into product development.

They also will publish and use their research to educate the industry, including training programs for radiotherapy applications. Their first project entails using AI to reduce the time required for contouring tumors and nearby organs when planning precise radiotherapy treatment. AI allows users to engage in high-quality Organs at Risk contouring and standardization, which simplifies radiotherapy planning workflow. It can free up time for providers to spend on other tasks.
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“Through this five-year partnership, we look forward to once again supporting Varian's world-class team in developing products and services that have the potential to efficiently deliver more advanced care to even more patients in more regions across the world,” Icon Group chief executive officer Mark Middleton said in a statement.

Icon's agreement with Varian builds on a previous one from April 2021 in which it installed the manufacturer’s linear accelerators across Australia and Asia. The two will conduct clinical and technical research to assess hardware and software systems used in diagnostics, treatment planning and radiation therapy for cancer patients.

Icon also became the first in the world to use Varian's ARIA oncology information system (OIS) with new multi-disciplinary functionality and its Noona electronic patient-reported outcomes (ePRO) solution. ARIA manages clinical, administrative and financial processes for cancer treatment, while the Noona ePRO application allows users to integrate patient-reported outcomes data into its patient care practices.

The two will also participate in a number of projects involving research about the future of radiation oncology and efforts to reduce the impact of cancer worldwide.

Siemens acquired Varian in April 2021 for $16.4 billion. The deal marked the former’s return to the radiotherapy market in over a decade and gave it a more than 50% stake in the market, as well as access to Varian’s linear accelerators and proton therapy technology.

Since then, the companies have offered their individual products as joint packages. Back in February, for instance, they agreed to build and support diagnostic, therapeutic and digital technologies for Oulu University Hospital in Finland, which is expanding its cancer center and installing devices at a new radiotherapy center that will be completed in spring 2022.

Among the solutions they deployed there were one Halcyon and two TrueBeam radiotherapy systems; a BRAVOS afterloader for high-dose-rate brachytherapy; the ARIA oncology information system and Eclipse treatment planning software; and a range of medical imaging systems, including a Somatom go.Open Pro CT scanner, a PET/CT scanner and a Magnetom Vida MRI scanner.

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