Telepathology is the use of telecommunications technology to facilitate the transfer of image-rich pathology data between remote locations for the purposes of diagnosis, education, and research. Today, pathologists including McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
affiliated faculty member Anthony Jake Demetris, MD (pictured), professor of pathology and director of the Division of Liver and Transplantation Pathology at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, review pathology slides which are transmitted from remote locations to UPMC for review. Dr. Demetris co-developed, along with Marta I. Minervini, MD, assistant professor of pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and former chief pathologist of the Division of Anatomical Pathology of the Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti e Terapie ad Alta Specializzazione (ISMETT), a static image and remote-microscopy based clinical telepathology system between UPMC-Pittsburgh and UPMC-Palermo, Italy (ISMETT), which has been operative and in use for the last 8 years.
As noted by Joe Miksch, PittMed, the practical benefits to pathologists of the Pittsburgh/Palermo connection are obvious—readily available expertise from the other side of the world in real time. And telepathology can make a difference closer to home, as well. In a hospital system like UPMC’s, not every hospital necessarily has a pathologist from every subspecialty. Yet the long-term implications of this scanner technology are much, much larger.
“This,” says Dr. Demetris, “will revolutionize pathology. It’s already starting. With the help of engineers, and mathematicians, and software designers, you name it, we’re getting bigger and better, and I think someday the field would be better named ‘diagnostic medicine.’ We’re adding so much information to what we do.”
Omnyx is a joint venture of GE Healthcare and UPMC formed out of a vision to bring pathology into the digital age and improve pathology departments and processes worldwide. By combining the technology innovation and backing of GE Healthcare with the pathology expertise and insight of UPMC, Omnyx has developed a patent pending Integrated Digital Pathology Solution.
Designed to integrate the pathology department from image scanning and case preparation to case review, the solution digitizes pathology and raises the performance standard for digital pathology research solutions.
Omnyx Integrated Digital Pathology (IDP) is the result of extensive collaboration with more than 30 thought leading pathologists from 13 academic medical centers and research laboratories around the globe. The result is in a highly usable, intuitive solution that provides benefits to pathologists and the entire enterprise.
Pittsburgh is the site for the upcoming symposium “Opportunities and Challenges With Telemedicine,” May 5-6, 2011. Dr. Demetris along with colleagues will participate in a session on Friday, May 6, 2011, entitled “Clinical Telemedicine (Store and Forward).” This session will address current practices at UPMC including the pitfalls and challenges associated with ongoing clinical activities and telemedicine.
Illustration: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
PittMed (Winter 2010)
UPMC Telemedicine Symposium: Opportunities and Challenges With Telemedicine
Bio: Dr. Anthony Jake Demetris