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Digital Pathology

The Cellular Pathology team has started the journey towards digital pathology in working with our pathologists to introduce digital pathology for the primary diagnosis of histological specimens.

Digital pathology involves the management, sharing and interpretation of pathology information in a digital environment. 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.

Digital pathology will have a significant impact on the provision of healthcare. It will enable the rapid referral of cases between organisations and specialists, increasing access to expert advice and opinion.

Our team of skin pathologists were the first to trial the new technology, initially reviewing 20 digitally-scanned retrospective cases as part of the stage 1 validation. The team then moved to stage 2 validation, which involves reporting on live cases using the digital images and the conventional glass slides in parallel. The focus of this is to ensure that each pathologist is confident as they transition from glass to digital to perform primary diagnosis. This stage took a few months to complete and was in line with the Royal College of Pathologist’s guidance on introducing digital pathology.

The skins pathologists have now gone live with digital pathology for primary diagnosis and the next set of consultants are now coming on board. Our lung pathologists have begun their stage 1 validation and are hoping to move to stage 2 in early 2021.

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