In the first project of its kind outside the United States, Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) is working with Sify Technologies to provide software-as-a-service (SaaS) to radiotherapy centers across India. The innovative service, which hosts oncology information and treatment planning software in the cloud and allows clinical teams to focus on treating patients, is being implemented as part of a multi-million dollar investment in treatment equipment and software across Cancer Treatment Services International CTSI’s network of cancer hospitals in India and South Asia.
“CTSI is rapidly expanding its network across the region, and the cloud-hosted solution enables us to focus on delivering high quality, consistent care to our patients,” said Vishal Bali, CTSI’s Chairman. “Our flagship Hyderabad facility, operated under the name American Oncology Institute (AOI), is the first in India to implement this innovative solution for remote software hosting and better connectivity with our clinicians. These unique capabilities differentiate our hospitals and facilitate the use of evidence-based protocols and tools, such as cutting-edge treatment planning technologies, across the AOI network.”
In line with a two-year implementation plan, the first three sites – including Hyderabad – are already clinical and other CTSI centers in India will follow suit in the coming months. It is the first SaaS project of its kind for Varian outside North America and forms part of a larger order from CTSI for 12 advanced Varian linear accelerators – including 10 top-of-the-range TrueBeam™ systems – to be installed at CTSI hospitals across the region.
Joe Nicholas, co-founder and executive director of CTSI, said, “We are delighted with how this project has come to fruition. It has been delivered on time and the result is very impressive. Our clinical teams now have access to a robust centralized electronic system and are no longer working in isolation.”
“With a unique SaaS model such as this CTSI subscribes to the software, as part of the service packages provided by Sify that include all required IT infrastructure and hosting, rather than buying it,” says Steve Laws, Varian’s head of software sales in the EMEIA region. “It makes sense for them because as well as offering economies of scale, it means their clinical teams are freed up to focus on treating cancer patients.”
Raju Vegesna, chairman of Chennai-based Sify Technologies, added, “Together with Varian, we wanted to build a solution that would eliminate many of the problems facing Indian hospitals, which tend to work in isolation. We have come up with a common platform stored in a private cloud, through which all practitioners in the network have instant access to all data. With this model, all radiation planning can be done remotely in a process that has been streamlined from disease detection to treatment. The local doctors have continuous peer group collaboration and knowledge sharing.”
“With private storage, we never run short of space and no patient data is eliminated,” he added. “We firmly believe this is how oncology treatment will be handled going forward in India and across South-East Asia. It is a complete break with the past and offers huge benefits. And if we can do this here, in India, we can do it anywhere in the world.”
In the first quarter of its current fiscal year, Varian announced it had booked $18 million of a $35 million order from CTSI for the India project. “This is our first software-as-a-service project in the region and demonstrates our ability to meet the growing need from customers for cloud-hosted software solutions,” said Varian CEO Dow Wilson.