Veracyte will explore the feasibility of combining its genomic technology with GE Healthcare’s digital imaging technology, under a research collaboration whose value was not disclosed, the companies said today.

The companies said they were working to develop new solutions intended to improve the diagnosis of disease. Through their agreement, Veracyte and GE aim to identify features from raw imaging data that could elucidate useful, new information to further address unmet clinical needs when combined with genomic information.

Veracyte said it will collaborate with GE Healthcare and two other units of GE. One is GE’s Global Research Center, whose resources include 35,000 engineers and 5,000 research scientists.

The other is GE Ventures, which operates the Global Research Center as part of its mission to provide funds and expertise to startups in industries that include healthcare. GE Ventures is an investor in Veracyte, joining in the $28 million Series C financing completed in 2013, along with existing investors at the time, Domain Associates, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, TPG Biotech, and Versant Ventures.

Proceeds from the financing were to support commercial expansion of Veracyte’s first product, the Afirma® Thyroid FNA Analysis, as well as the company’s product pipeline.

Afirma uses a gene expression test to let physicians preoperatively identify benign nodules among those originally classified by cytopathology as indeterminate. The test or Gene Expression Clarifier measures the expression of 142 genes to determine if the FNA sample is benign or suspicious for cancer, with the goal of enabling patients with benign results to avoid unnecessary surgery.

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