Secondary Care

Oxford University Hospitals hits 100% digitisation of surgical histology slides

Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust, with support from Royal Philips, has fully digitised its cellular pathology (histopathology) department.

One of the early adopters of the technology, all surgical histology and referral slides within the cellular pathology department are now digital and available between OUH and its wider network of trusts and pathologists.

The trust installed the Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution, including three Ultra-Fast Scanners and one Ultra Versatile Scanner, aimed to “reduce the pressure on the hospital’s Cellular Pathology service”.

Its alliance with Milton Keynes University Hospital and Great Western Hospital, who are also using the Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solutions, has allowed for multi-disciplinary team meeting cases to be reviewed digitally and for extra tests to be requested if necessary, expediting results and diagnostic decision-making.

Professor Clare Verrill, Associate Professor and Honorary Consultant in histopathology at OUH, said: “We have seen a number of urgent cases where we have been able to provide a rapid opinion through digital solutions. In one case the digital platform enabled us to secure a crucial second opinion in a matter of hours, enabling the patient to start on life-saving chemotherapy treatment that evening.”

“Although it is still early days, we have seen that the Philips IntelliSite platform has great potential to improve diagnosis quality through increased access to further opinions and to help us deliver faster results to patients.”

Professor Verrill is leading the Oxford team for the PathLAKE Centre of Excellence in Digital Pathology and AI. The project will create a secure data-lake of tens of thousands of professionally annotated anonymous images for building deep learning algorithms. These images and tools will be made available across the consortium and SME partners in the sector to develop artificial intelligence technologies.