First hospital in unique digital pathology network in UK now live with Sectra’s solution


International medical imaging IT and cybersecurity company Sectra has deployed its software for medical imaging at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. It is the first of an initial six trusts in the Northern Pathology Imaging Co-operative (NPIC) to go live, paving the way for one of the most sophisticated interconnected pathology initiatives in the world. The technology from Sectra will underpin the regional program that is digitizing, connecting and applying artificial intelligence to pathology services in the North of England.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals went live with Sectra’s solution for digital pathology and Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) in October. This will allow pathology images to be interrogated by professionals electronically from a range of devices-anywhere and at any time. With many pathology departments across the country still reliant on microscopes and glass slides, the new system is allowing pathologists to work more quickly, gain easier access to opinions from colleagues and manage rising demand.

Furthermore, the joint VNA will allow the trust to pool imaging and build a platform for artificial intelligence that is crucial to improving diagnoses for cancer and other illnesses.

“Leeds is the first of our six sites to go fully digital. Collectively, we are modernizing our pathology services to become among the most advanced and interconnected anywhere in the world, and we hope to share our experience to help others across the NHS and beyond,” says Dr. Darren Treanor, NPIC’s director, and a practicing pathologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

He continues: “The days of using glass slides and paper notes to determine and communicate a patient’s diagnosis are numbered. As we move to digital ways of working, we can improve quality and create a more structured digital workflow.”

Greater benefits are expected as more hospitals in the NPIC go live with the system later in the year. As announced in 2018, the program is part of a partnership between industry, the NHS and academia, funded by UK Research and Innovation and industry partners to connect pathology services across the region using technology. This will lead to the full digitization of NHS laboratories covering a population of three million people, allowing hospitals to pool resources, balance workload, and enable easier access to specialists across the region whose expertise may be quickly needed to make a clinical diagnosis.

“Digital pathology is about far more than replacing microscopes with computers. It’s about fundamentally changing how pathology services can be configured across regions and across the country, so that patients can receive faster diagnoses, services can become more intelligent, and the NHS can make best use of its valuable pathologists. NPIC is at the forefront of this transformation,” says Jane Rendall, UK Managing Director for Sectra.

About NPIC

Northern Pathology Imaging Co-operative, NPIC (Project no. 104687) is one of five centers supported by a £50m investment from the Data to Early Diagnosis and Precision Medicine strand of the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, managed and delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), announced in 2018.

NPIC is a unique collaboration between NHS, academic and industry partners. NPIC is deploying digital pathology across hospitals in the North of England and will develop artificial intelligence tools to help diagnose cancer and other diseases.

About Sectra

Sectra assists hospitals throughout the world to enhance the efficiency of care, and authorities and defense forces in Europe to protect society’s most sensitive information. Thereby, Sectra contributes to a healthier and safer society. The company was founded in 1978, has its head office in Linköping, Sweden, with direct sales in 19 countries, and operates through partners worldwide. Sales in the 2019/2020 fiscal year totaled SEK 1,661 million.