Last October, with the HUG we announced the rollout of a new cancer diagnostic platform, OncobenchTM. Developed together by the hospital staff and by SIB’s Clinical Bioinformatics and Vital-IT teams, OncobenchTM was designed to streamline and automatize the complex molecular analyses leading to the diagnosis of cancer, while ensuring the patient’s data privacy.

Four months down the line, the users of OncoBenchTM at the HUG Clinical Pathology Service were asked to evaluate the benefits of the platform, used in routine since its implementation.

Nine end-users, including a clinical bioinformatician, three laboratory technicians, three biologists and two pathologists, answered a series of questions aiming at evaluating the ease of use of the platform, its functionalities and its impact on the laboratory work, as well as the quality of the collaboration with SIB.

According to the survey, OncobenchTM allows for:

  • A gain in time – The results can now be returned to the oncologist within 4 days, instead of 5 previously. In addition, the estimated time saving for the laboratory corresponds to 1 full day per week;
  • An increase in the quality of the data generated and of their clinical interpretation;
  • A short learning curve and the platform’s user-friendliness - The transition from the previous systems in place to OncoBenchTM was a smooth and easy process for all end-users.

The most praised features of OncoBenchTM are:

  • The synthetic visualization of all the information needed for the quality control and annotation of variants;
  • The integrated and seamless access to external public databases, combined with the re-use of annotations from previous internal analyses;
  • The data traceability and standardization;
  • The management of diagnostic clinical reports.

Finally, the collaboration model is unanimously praised, as all participants felt that the joint meetings with SIB developers, as well as the integration of the laboratory bioinformatician in the development team, largely contributed to the quality of the platform.

Building on this success, SIB’s Clinical Bioinformatics is already working towards the export of this collaborative model to other fields of medicine and to other Swiss hospitals.

Link to the HUG Clinical Pathology Service