Industry News: Indica Labs announces launch of cloud-based digital pathology deployment at NCI

Indica Labs is pleased to announce the formal launch of its software within the National Cancer Institute (NCI)

16 Sep 2021


Indica Labs has launched software including HALO®, HALO AI, HALO Link, and HALO AP. Accessible to hundreds of users within the NCI, managing millions of digital images, and facilitating the analysis of thousands of images daily, this is the largest single deployment of Indica Labs’ software worldwide.

While NCI has invested in multiple HALO licenses dating back to 2014, the existing on-premise licenses were siloed and generally only accessible to specific research groups. The cloud deployment was designed to merge and harmonize these disparate deployments, to expand the analysis capabilities to include HALO AI and all HALO modules, and to provide centralized access to scientists across the institution. Leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud deployment enables pooling compute resources, auto-scaling, tiered storage and archiving capabilities.

HALO Link, the research image and data management hub for the new cloud deployment, facilitates collaboration between scientists inside and outside of NCI. One of the goals of the project was to integrate the wide range of imaging platforms and data sources across the institute. HALO Link was chosen as the image and data management hub based on its open APIs that provide support for multiple image file formats and facilitate integration with third-party databases. Finally, for clinical trials and diagnostic applications, HALO AP has been implemented for case-management, reporting and quantitative analytics.

Indica Labs CEO, Steven Hashagen said “The launch is an incredible milestone for Indica and our NCI user-base. Since the cloud pilot started earlier this year, we have witnessed tremendous growth in interest from NCI users who are seeking to leverage this cloud-based deployment. Based on inquiries from Investigators at other Institutes and Centers about the NCI effort, we believe cloud deployment will become an appealing model for other Institutes within the National Institutes of Health (NIH).”

The AWS cloud deployment of HALO is part of the Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability (STRIDES) initiative. STRIDES aims to make commercial cloud-based computing and data management resources, like those available from Amazon, more accessible to NIH researchers to accelerate biomedical advances. The project was identified by the Intramural NCI STRIDES-based Transition and Exploration Program (IN STEP), which was launched by NCI’s Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT) in 2019 to identify core technologies within the NCI that would benefit from commercial cloud computing and to facilitate their implementation.

NCI Chief Information Officer, Jeff Shilling, noted that “2D image analysis is an area of rapid growth at NCI and an essential component of NCI’s research infrastructure. Working in the cloud allows us to provide new analytic capabilities to Investigators instantly, without big hardware investments, and expand and contract compute and storage capability on demand. A cloud-based approach also simplifies data sharing and enables real-time collaboration with both internal and external researchers in ways that were not previously possible.”

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