Policy & Regulation
Indica Labs, Octo, and Axle Work with NIH to Launch a Global COVID-19 Digital Pathology Repository
22 May 2020 - - US-based computational pathology software provider Indica Labs and Octo, an information technology systems provider to the US Federal government, have created the online COVID Digital Pathology Repository (COVID-DPR), a virtual collection of high resolution microscopic COVID-related human tissue images hosted at the National Institutes of Health, the organisations said.

While the number of COVID-19-related deaths continues to rise worldwide, only a few organizations are equipped with the viral containment facilities to perform autopsies and collect tissues from patients who succumb to the disease.

These tissues are critical for researchers who are investigating the pathology, treatment, and prevention of COVID-19 infection. COVID-DPR was created to enable international collaboration by providing a centralised, cloud-based repository for sharing and annotating digital whole slide images of lung, liver, kidney, and heart tissues from patients infected with COVID-19, as well as the closely related coronaviruses associated with SARs and MERs.

The whole slide images, annotations, and metadata in the repository will be used as a reference dataset for education, research, and future clinical trials aimed at limiting further infection, disease, and death.

COVID-DPR is underpinned by Indica Labs' HALO Link software, a collaborative image management platform designed specifically for secure sharing of digital whole slide images and data.

The HALO Link instance associated with COVID-DPR will be deployed in a web portal developed and managed by Octo and Axle Informatics to provide a secure, globally accessible central repository.

Biomedical scientists can securely add, view, annotate, analyze, and share whole slide images using HALO Link. Indica Labs' image analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence tools can also be integrated and accessed within the HALO Link interface.

Susan Gregurick, NIH Associate director for Data Science and director of the Office of Data Science Strategy, is coordinating NIH's computational efforts to combat the disease.

Octo has supported NIH with software and systems development for the last decade, including NIH's first blockchain program.

The current initiative involves multiple institutes within NIH, and COVID-DPR will be available immediately as a shared resource for researchers at institutes around the world with initial datasets being provided by infectious disease labs across North America, Europe, and Australia.

Indica Labs is the world's provider of computational pathology software and services. Our flagship HALO image analysis platform enables fast, quantitative evaluation of tissues using a broad range of artificial intelligence and computer vision algorithms.

HALO Link and HALO AP facilitate remote image analysis, collaboration, and management.

Through a combination of precision, scalability, and usability our software solutions enable pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic labs, research organizations, and Indica's own contract pharma services team to advance tissue-based research, clinical trials, and diagnostics.

Octo challenges the status quo, empowering federal agencies to leap IT hurdles by using emerging technologies to create transformative solutions that enable rapid modernisation, enhance citizen engagement, and maximize human impact. We continually explore ways to transform IT, producing results vital to national security, intelligence, health care, and more.

Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Octo is a technology firm focused on solving the Federal government's most complex challenges with Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Agile DevSecOps, Cloud Engineering, Open Source, Cybersecurity, and Data Analytics solutions.