For more than 125 years, pathology has relied on microscopes as its primary tool to determine diagnosis and prognosis. Soon, an integrated digital pathology technology is expected to help enable pathologists to realize the advantages of the digital age like many of their medical peers, such as radiologists.
“Today, studies show an increased need for collaboration in diagnosis in pathology. Given the inherent collaborative limitations of glass slides – the fact that I have to ship it to someone else to review – these consultations with colleagues are difficult, time-intensive, and limited,” said McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
affiliated faculty member George Michalopoulos, M.D., Ph.D. (pictured), professor and chairman of the Department of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and pathologist at UPMC. “An integrated digital pathology solution will allow pathologists to quickly share cases with the click of a button, increasing collaboration among specialists, and access for rural hospitals.”
GE Healthcare and UPMC recently announced that their imaging joint venture, Omnyx™, is initiating clinical research testing of a breakthrough digital pathology platform that is expected to help transform the practice of pathologists using glass slides. By digitizing the slides and corresponding workflow, the Omnyx technology is intended to do what a traditional microscope cannot — unite an entire pathology department and improve collaboration, communication, and efficiency, with the potential for better patient care. Omnyx has initiated research testing of the technology at three sites in the U.S and a fourth in Canada.
The new technology – which will be a truly integrated digital pathology solution – is a combination of patented scanners that boost scan speed by using one camera to scan the slide and a second to simultaneously focus, new imaging software for highest-quality images, and an information technology backbone that digitizes a pathology department’s workflow. The digital tools are designed to transform the practice of pathologists using glass slides, microscopes, and manual paperwork to advance patient cases.
An integrated digital pathology solution could help enhance the quality of care for patients by:
- Increasing the efficiency of the pathology process.
- Increasing access by facilitating real-time consultation with specialists, regardless of the patient or specialist’s location.
- Facilitating more collaboration among pathologists on patient cases.
UPMC, Montefiore Medical Center, Stanford University Medical Center, and University Health Network are currently installing, testing, and providing feedback on the Omnyx research platform, and will collect data for an FDA clearance submission.
Illustration: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Omnyx Press Release (10/27/10)
Healthcare IT News (10/28/10)
Health Data Management (10/28/10)
Bio: Dr. George Michalopoulos