I have posted numerous notes about analytics software (see, for example: Lab Analytics Emerges as Hot Area for Software Development; Relevance of Lifestyle Analytics for Healthcare Organizations; Leveraging Lab Analytic Data to Include Actionable Details to Improve Quality; Much of the Future for Pathology and Lab Medicine Rests with Analytics). Roche Diagnostics is now acquiring a lab analytics vendor, Viewics (see: Media Release). Below is an excerpt from the press release from Roche:
* Roche to acquire Viewics, Inc. to provide data-driven lab business analytics and add further digital capabilities along the laboratory value chain
* The Viewics solution allows for efficient integration of big data from a variety of IT systems in the laboratory and beyond, pioneering a new way in extracting, cleansing, transforming and augmenting data.
* Executive, financial, operational, technical, and laboratory roles gain comprehensive insights, enabling data-driven decisions that improve laboratory processes and performance.
* Viewics, Inc. will become an integral part of Roche and add further digital capabilities on top of Roche Diagnostics’ Integrated Core Lab offering.
....This acquisition allows Roche to expand its leading position in the Integrated Core Lab with business analytics capabilities, enabling laboratories to make faster data-driven informed decisions on their operations and processes. The cloud-based solution is secure, infrastructure-agnostic, interactive, and accessible from multiple devices (e.g. smart phones, tablets, desktop computers).....The Viewics solution offers automated data extraction, cleansing, and augmentation architecture and resolves many of the typical problems that laboratory IT staff encounter when using generic business intelligence solutions, traditional data warehousing, or extraction methodologies.
The major IVD companies have been involved with the lab software in various ways and at various times. For example, Abbott Informatics, one of the corporate underwriters of this blog, owns StarLIMS. All of the major IVD companies also provide middleware to their customers which is software positioned between analyzers and the LIS (see: Beyond connectivity: middleware’s shifting shape). By and large, the IVDs have stayed away from LIS development or the purchase of a major LIS vendor, largely focusing on data generation rather than data management or analysis. I have also suggested that IVD vendors should consider aligning themselves with LIS vendors to offer "integrated diagnostic solutions" (see: Development of an "Integrated Diagnostic Solution" in Response to EHR Market Pressure). I think that this would allow them to compete more effectively with EHR vendors like Epic and their LIS module, Beaker.
For me, the Roche purchase of Viewics does not raise a question about the value and future of lab analytics for which the future is bright. However, there is one question in my mind: what's next for Roche? There is one important clue in the press release cited above. It states: Viewics...will become an integral part of Roche and add further digital capabilities on top of Roche Diagnostics’ Integrated Core Lab offering. So, at least for the present, Roche seems content to remain within the "IVD space" which is to say within its Integrated Core Lab Offering. This then prompts the question of how all of the useful "comprehensive insights" to be derived from the use of the Viewics software are going to be reported to the lab managers and to test-ordering clinicians.