Royal Philips, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lothian announce a collaborative pilot at EHI Live for a national digital pathology service for Scotland.

The proof-of-concept pilot is designed to establish ease-of-adoption for a fully integrated and digitised national pathology service, across Scottish NHS providers.

The aim is to support standardised sample results and build a world-leading archive of reference data to increase accuracy of cancer diagnosis.

Ultimately it will offer transformational services to patients and clinicians across rural and remote areas.

Royal Philips, one of the leader’s in health technology made the pilot announcement across three sites – the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow; and the Royal Infirmary and Western General Hospitals, Edinburgh – at the two-day Birmingham event this week, which will last up to 12 months.

Dr Gareth Bryson, head of service for pathology at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and clinical lead said: “Traditional histopathology exposed samples to numerous handlers which is inefficient,” he said, “and increases the scope for human error. An integrated digital pathology workflow reduces these risks while providing the pathologist with the necessary image and clinical information to generate the most accurate and complete clinical diagnosis. “

Kenny Birney, head of IT, diagnostics NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and project lead, adds that  “computational pathology offers new insights through data analysis, meaning pathologists can consult on treatment options such as in immuno-oncology.”

“Our aim is to bring these exciting innovations to Scotland with an integrated digital pathology solution, ensuring equity of access for all patients, irrespective of geographical location.”

According to IntelliSpace PACS Radiology Workspace., in Scotland, up to 70% of diagnoses made are informed by pathology and laboratory service work and with increasing pathology service demand not being matched by a growth in workforce, a national digital pathology programme could increase the diagnostic speed and accuracy of pathology services to address these resource pressures.

The pilot follows the national roll out of diagnostic imaging Picture Archive and Communication Systems (PACS) programme across Scotland.

Richard Nicholson, sales director Digital Pathology Solutions, Philips UKI said with remote access to advanced digital images and data, “not only can clinicians collaborate across localities, but also diagnostic services are mobilised and taken where they’re needed