Royal Philips , a global leader in health technology, and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, announced plans to create a digital pathology network to help drive faster and more efficient diagnoses for patients.
OUH will deploy the Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, which will serve as a central laboratory service for partner sites at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Swindon.
Pathologists play a critical role in disease detection, particularly with cancer diagnosis. Traditionally, pathologists analyze tissue samples on glass slides under a microscope. When seeking a consultation with a sub-specialist, these glass slides must be transported to the second site, which can result in lost or damaged slides or delays in diagnosis.
By creating a digital network, OUH will leverage the Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution, including its Ultra Fast Scanner and Image Management System, to allow clinicians across the three regions and within the Thames Valley Cancer Network to collaborate remotely on patient cases.
This enhanced collaboration will help reduce delays in slide transport times, encourage more efficient workflows across the sites, and enable quicker access to specialist pathology opinions. Digital pathology will also support NHS Improvement’s proposed Pathology networks, bringing together clinical expertise with the goal of enhancing patient outcomes.
Digital pathology will transform microscopy
“As an NHS Global Digital Exemplar committed to improving patient care by embracing the latest digital technologies and cross-site collaborations, this partnership aims to modernize patient care and offer innovative world-leading services,” said Professor Clare Verrill, Honorary Consultant in Cellular Pathology, Oxford University Hospitals. “Initially starting with some specialist areas, we hope to soon make our pathology services fully digital, meaning our laboratory teams can maximize efficiency and focus on analysing samples rather than spending time manually transporting slides between hospitals.”
“With 70% of NHS diagnoses requiring a pathology sample , and with sample analysis becoming increasingly sophisticated while demand increases , Philips is committed to collaborating to modernize UK pathology services,” said Marlon Thompson, General Manager of Philips Digital Pathology Solutions. “Philips wants to help providers meet growing demand by moving pathology from the era of microscopes and fragile stacks of sample slides to one of clinical efficacy with sample images uploaded quickly and analysed robustly within the Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution. I believe this agreement creates the first digital pathology network with scanning capabilities at multiple sites within the NHS in England, which is a great achievement and a very positive prospect for patients and clinicians alike.”
Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution is an automated digital pathology image creation, viewing and management system comprised of an Ultra Fast Scanner and Image Management System. This solution contains advanced software tools to manage the scanning, storage, presentation, reviewing, and sharing of images. Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution is available in various countries globally for primary diagnostic use. In addition to its CE-IVD clearance in Europe, it was the first – and currently only – digital pathology solution allowed to be marketed for primary diagnostic use in the U.S. since April 2017 and in Japan since December 2017.
About Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest acute teaching trusts in the UK, with a national and international reputation for the excellence of its services and its role in patient care, teaching and research. It works in close partnership with the University of Oxford and is a leading center for cancer, neurosciences, diabetes, genetics and many other fields. The Trust was awarded Foundation Trust status in October 2015. The Trust has been designated as a major trauma centre and is one of four UK centres for craniofacial surgery. The Trust employs over 12,000 staff and runs four main hospital sites: the Churchill Hospital, John Radcliffe Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury.
 NHS England. 2016. ‘The Digital First’: Clinical Transformation through Pathology Innovation’, available at https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/pathol-dig-first.pdf (last accessed: June 2018)
 Cancer Research UK. 2016. ‘Testing times to come? An evaluation of Pathology capacity across the UK’, available at: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/sites/default/files/testing_times_to_come_nov_16_cruk.pdf. (last accessed: June 2018)