Digital Pathology to Reduce Patient Wait for Diagnosis
Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust is one of the few areas in the country to move from analysing tissue biopsies using microscopes to using state-of-the-art software, reducing the time patients have to wait for diagnoses, particularly for those patients with suspected cancer.
Digital pathology improves the acquisition, management, sharing and interpretation of pathology information. Digital slides are created when glass slides are captured with a scanning device, to provide a high-resolution image that can be viewed on a computer screen or mobile device.
Laboratories at Queens Medical Centre have now adopted this new technology and using it to::
- Benefit patients by enabling the rapid referral of cases between organisations or across pathology networks, enhancing access to expert advice and opinion on diagnoses
- Improve laboratory workflow and connectivity and increases flexibility and efficiency of the workforce, helping create digital training resources that support the development of specialists in training
- Increase the power to share slides and more, making it easier for others to benefit from the fantastic expertise in our profession
- Set the scene for the use of artificial intelligence which will help bring advances to pathology services.
Commenting on the improvement Consultant Hematopathologist Dr David Clark said "We are very proud that our Trust is one of the few in the country to take this innovative step and I would like to thank our team for delivering it. The improved quality of images that comes with this new technology will do so much good in helping patients."
Dr Hrushikesh Divyateja, Clinical Director for Pathology said “Digital pathology is a major technological milestone, eventually leading to quicker and more accurate diagnosis, particularly cancer diagnosis. The wait for biopsy to result time can be traumatic for patients and with this technology, we aim to improve the patient experience.”
Clinicians are also welcoming this improvement with Dr Fran Wadelin, consultant Haematologist, saying “I have found the new digital system to have made a tremendous improvement in our histology and MDT meetings. We are able to view the trephine slides with ease and there has been a considerable reduction in the delay in immunohistochemistry that previously required physical transportation to this campus. We can easily compare previous slides and can ask for review of biopsies that have been sent to other subsections of histology, without there being a delay physically locating a slide. It has also facilitated remote working and teaching; and has allowed us to continue our close relationship with our histology colleagues throughout the COVID pandemic. Thank you for introducing this system to NUH.”
For more information on NUH’s Pathology Team please visit our website.