Philips Healthcare and Danish cancer diagnostics company, Dako have signed an agreement to integrate Dako’s image analysis applications into Philips future digital pathology solutions.

The companies say that the agreement will transform pathology workflows which are traditionally based on using a microscope to examine tissue sections on glass slides. By digitising images and integrating Dako’s image analysis applications into Philips technology, hospitals will be able to interpret results more quickly and accurately.

Bob van Gemen, general manager of Philips digital pathology, said: “Anatomic pathology is an essential element of virtually every cancer diagnosis and the demand for it is ever-increasing. Our goal is to develop integrated digital solutions that enhance the operational efficiency and productivity of pathology departments, as well as increasing diagnostic confidence.

“I am convinced that our partnership with Dako, with its leading market position and expert knowledge in detecting and quantifying specific biomarkers in cancer tissue, will significantly accelerate our clinical applications development program."

The integrated solutions will consist of a fast pathology slide scanner and an image management system to digitise pathology workflows. The collaboration will initially focus on leveraging Dako’s image analysis software for tissue-based breast cancer diagnosis.

Lars Holmkvist, chief executive of Dako, said: "By joining forces with Philips, we will be able to deliver highly competitive diagnostic tools based on Philips’ extensive clinical expertise and technology know-how and Dako’s expertise in advanced staining and image analysis in order to benefit pathology laboratories, pathologists and ultimately patients."

Philips and Dako will also consider extending the collaboration to include image analysis software for immunohistology-based prostate and colon cancer diagnostics.