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Nova Scotia Health launches first-in-Canada technology that brings together oncology information in real time

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Puts province at forefront of cancer care information technology; expected to decrease treatment wait times and improve survival rates

Cancer patients in Nova Scotia will receive improved care, shorter wait times, and better results thanks to the new Oncology Transformation Project (OTP) at Nova Scotia Health.

“A cancer diagnosis is a frightening and stressful experience for patients and their families,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “Cancer patients and their families deserve to know that they are receiving the best possible care, delivered on the fastest possible timeline. There is no better way to improve their care, than by giving healthcare professionals better tools to do their jobs.”

The project will modernize the way cancer care is delivered and will bring together its key oncology information systems for the first time – with information available on a split second and in real time. Through this project Nova Scotia Health is creating a single access point for cancer patient referrals, triage, and treatment which in turn, will lead to streamlined care, reduced wait times, and provide better outcomes for patients.

The Oncology Transformation Project includes a patient portal, which gives patients a direct connection to their care teams, the ability to report symptoms from home, and the comfort that that they are not alone.

There will also be real time communication between the two cancer centres in Halifax and Sydney and the province’s eight community oncology sites, enhancing access to care for people living in rural communities.


“This is the solution for which our cancer care team has been waiting,” said Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice President Research, Innovation and Discovery and Chief Nurse Executive, Nova Scotia Health. “Our patients and care teams deserve this level of excellence, and it will change the way our patients receive cancer treatment and survivorship care.”

Made by Varian, a Siemens Healthineers company, ARIA® is compatible with the recently announced One Person One Record information system.

Nova Scotia will be the first site in North America to use a new, to-be-released version of Varian’s platform. This means that all the critical systems used to provide comprehensive cancer care to Nova Scotians will talk to each other for the first time.

Varian’s technology already has a proven track record. ARIA®has been successfully used by the province’s radiation oncology information system for nearly 20 years.

“This agreement with Nova Scotia Health reflects our commitment to collaborating with providers to streamline workflows and embed digitization, quality, and simplicity into every step of the care journey,” said Andrew Shogan, President of Multi-Disciplinary Oncology at Varian.

To support the full integration of ARIA OIS, the QEII Foundation is currently fundraising as part of its $100 million We Are campaign.

The project will launch this Spring with an accelerated 12-month timeline to fully integrate it into Nova Scotia’s health system.

About the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub

The Innovation Hub is how Nova Scotia Health rapidly brings together innovators, researchers, and industry collaborators—through support, space, and networks— so they can transform healthcare for Nova Scotians. For more information visit

About Varian

At Varian, a Siemens Healthineers company, we envision a world without fear of cancer. For more than 70 years, we have developed, built, and delivered innovative cancer care technologies and solutions for our clinical partners around the globe to help them treat millions of patients each year. With an Intelligent Cancer Care approach, we are harnessing advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics to enhance cancer treatment and expand access to care. Our 11,000 employees across 70 locations keep the patient and our clinical partners at the center of our thinking as we power new victories in cancer care. Because, for cancer patients everywhere, their fight is our fight. For more information, visit

Additional Quotes:

“Having access to complete patient information ensures the right care, at the right time, in the right place, by the right provider.” - The Honourable Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness, Nova Scotia

“By providing a single vehicle for patient referral, entry, triage, and treatment, OTP ensures streamlined, coordinated care, with decreased wait times and improved patient outcomes.” - Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice-President of Research, Innovation and Discovery and Chief Nurse Executive, Nova Scotia Health

“This is a milestone we have reached, and it will have a huge and lasting impact on cancer care across Nova Scotia,” - Dr. Helmut Hollenhorst, Senior Medical Director of Nova Scotia Health’s Cancer Care Program

“The QEII Foundation is thrilled to help bring this into the hands of patients. As part of this campaign, we are committed to improving access to care and introducing new technology,” - Susan Mullin, President and CEO of the QEII Foundation.