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GE’s commitment to Cell Imaging and Microscopy

An interview with Mike Lewis, Segment Leader for GE Healthcare’s Cell Imaging & Microscopy, Genomic and Cellular Research business.

What is GE’s latest development in Cell Imaging & Microscopy?

Mike Lewis, Segment Leader for GE Healthcare’s Cell Imaging & Microscopy, Genomic and Cellular Research business

With high content analysis (HCA), researchers are trying to image 100,000’s of cells in a single experiment. The IN Cell Analyzer can acquire the images, but then the right software is needed to help with the analysis. Currently, researchers use complicated image analysis software which turns the images into numbers, but often requires specialist expertise.

GE is now focused on this image analysis step with its IN Cell Image Analysis Software. The benefit is that this new software makes analysis more accessible and efficient, which helps researchers with all levels of experience. With this simplified approach to HCA, researchers can now be confident in their data without relying on an image analysis expert.

Where is high-throughput being used?

Traditionally, HCA has primarily been adopted by pharma companies but increasingly academia and research institutes are seeing the value too, especially in core research facilities. This trend has been driven by a move away from specialists to generalists across the research community. So wherever the HCA learning curve can be lowered, especially around the latest advances, a greater number of scientists will benefit.

What architecture underlies IN Cell Image Analysis Software?

Predix. Predix is the software platform developed by GE Digital to be used for the “Industrial Internet” and is used across many of GE’s businesses. It’s designed to handle big data at an industrial scale. In collaboration with the GE Digital team in San Ramon, CA, we’ve developed customized algorithms specifically to analyze the big data generated via high-throughput cell analysis.

Software and data analysis. Through Predix, the IN Cell Image Analysis Software helps customers to get answers quickly so they can move on to the next set of experiments that much faster. Our hope is that by providing powerful tools to analyze the terabytes of data generated through HCA will help researchers answer important questions around current challenges in disease treatment and prevention. Overall, scientists need confidence in their results, and IN Cell Image Analysis Software’s 360º view of the data helps provide this. The new software provides intuitive data review tools that allow the user to connect individual cells to their position in the population.

Ease-of-use. With IN Cell Image Analysis Software, we’ve worked hard to create a simple and intuitive user interface and workflows that are accessible to any user regardless of experience, while actually being powered by sophisticated and powerful algorithms. Combined with the streamlined, automated imaging workflows of the IN Cell Analyzer systems, the software’s multi-core parallel processing delivers results faster.

What is driving GE’s current investment in Cell Imaging & Microscopy?

We are constantly interacting with our customers and collecting feedback in order to gain as much insight as possible. We also spent time working with a customer review board while developing this software. What we’ve learned from our customers is that there is a clear desire for simple image analysis software that complements our instruments. The great images our microscopes acquire hold vast amounts of information that can only be unlocked with the right image analysis software. Therefore, our goal is to provide our customers with not only the best images, but the most accurate and informative data possible.

GE is committed to developing its Cell Analysis product portfolio, recognizing the movement in science towards faster and more sophisticated high-throughput screening. IN Cell Image Analysis Software is the latest proof of this. Ultimately, we want the software to be agile and to continuously evolve based on regular feedback from customers. At the moment, we plan to release updates several times a year!

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