Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) has become one of the earliest UK adopters of a fully digitised cellular pathology department, having installed the Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution, including three Ultra Fast Scanners and one Ultra Versatile Scanner.
OUH has digitised all surgical histology and referral slides within the cellular pathology department, which is expected to enable greater collaboration with its wider network of trusts and pathologists.
The Philips technology will reduce the pressure on the hospital’s cellular pathology service, supporting the vision of digitally enabled care as outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan. The transition has been driven by the pathology and biomedical science teams working together.
An alliance with Milton Keynes University Hospital and Great Western Hospital in Swindon, which are also using the Philips IntelliSite pathology solutions, has allowed multidisciplinary team meeting cases to be reviewed digitally and for extra tests to be requested if necessary.
OUH associate professor and honorary consultant in histopathology Professor Clare Verrill said: “We have seen a number of urgent cases where we have been able to provide a rapid opinion through digital solutions. In one case the digital platform enabled us to secure a crucial second opinion in a matter of hours, enabling the patient to start life-saving chemotherapy treatment that evening.
“Although it is still early days, we have seen that the Philips IntelliSite platform has great potential to improve diagnosis quality through increased access to further opinions and to help us deliver faster results to patients.”
In an article in the Journal of Clinical Pathology, OUH histopathology consultant Dr Lisa Browning noted that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there had been a 25 per cent increase in uptake of digital pathology, with pathologists keen to fully validate digitally and provide remote training and ongoing support for this transition successfully via video conferencing.
Professor Verrill is leading the Oxford team for the PathLAKE Centre of Excellence in Digital Pathology and AI, of which Philips is the principal industrial partner. The project aims to create a secure data lake of tens of thousands of professionally annotated anonymous images for building deep learning algorithms that can automatically detect cancer. These images and tools will be made available across the consortium including a growing number of SME partners to develop AI to overcome workloads in the UK.
Picture: Histopathology consultant Dr Lisa Browning and honorary consultant in cellular pathology Professor Clare Verrill.
Published on page 18 of the October 2020 issue of RAD Magazine.