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SWLP goes live with digital pathology

3 July 2020

South West London Pathology (SWLP) has this week gone live with digital pathology for primary diagnosis. 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.

A team of skin pathologists in Cellular Pathology at SWLP, who have been the first to trial digital pathology, have been working towards stage 2 validation over recent months. Stage 2 validation involves parallel reporting digitally and with the conventional glass slide on live cases. The focus of this is to ensure that each pathologist is confident as they transition from glass to digital to perform primary diagnosis. The is in line with the College of Pathologist’s guidance on introducing digital pathology.

Two of our skin pathologists have completed their self-validation and went live with digital pathology for primary diagnosis this week. This means that they will no longer use glass slides but will instead use digital images to make their diagnoses.

Following the success of the validation programme in skin pathology, the next set of consultants are now coming on board. Lung pathology will begin their stage 1 validation in July, which will involve reviewing 20 digitally-scanned retrospective cases.

SWLP lead for digital pathology Joanne Lam-Wong says, “It is so exciting with our first milestone with skin pathology going live for primary diagnosis. While there is still a long way to go until digital pathology becomes standard practice, we have made real progress. Now more than ever, digital pathology will play a crucial role in providing safe and effective care for patients.”

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