LabPON represents Laboratory Pathology East Netherlands and carries out pathological examinations.
Every year the team of seventeen pathologists and eighty lab analysts report on over ninety-thousand cases each year.
As the largest pathology laboratory in the Netherlands, LabPON knows that patients rely on them….and waiting for the lab results can cause fear and anxiety.
Therefore, labPON is committed to excel in speed and quality, in which digital pathology can contribute. (Efficiency studies in progress)
Digitization might help tackle some of the challenges in pathology. Cancer projections are growing and the number of tests applied have significantly increased the workload. On top of this, current accuracy rates and speed of diagnosis demand further improvement.
LabPon is striving to be the first AP lab in the Netherlands and Europe to work completely digitally. This will help us support our colleagues in research and education, since digital files are more flexible.
Looking through a microscope often causes muscle problems for pathologists, especially in the neck and shoulders. In Sweden, it was proven that, once eighty percent of the diagnosis were done digitally, all complaints were gone.
We are looking to replace computer mice with alternative pointers such as touchpads. We are developing ways to accurately connect the touchpad to the on-screen images, so pathologists can move images more easily, while minimizing the repetitive motions that can cause health problems.
Another challenge in going digital is the IT component; network speed and storage size, patient safety and security. Each tissue slide file is big in size and we need to make sure that people can quickly and safely send these files and easily work with them.
Recently, the three main labs in the north of the Netherlands, including University Medical Center Groningen, Lab Pathology East Netherlands in Hengelo and Isala C in Zwolle – participated in a Digital Pathology Regional Network trail with the aim to strengthen their collaboration.
The virtual network allows pathologists to approach one another easily, send slides in a secured way to directly set up consultations.
Once we have digital images, it’s easy to share them, consult with colleagues, and do revisions. You ‘re no longer tethered to a single place to work, but can take your work with you. Since the files are digital, you can send the digitally. You no longer need to worry about the difficult logistics involved in sending glass slides. You no longer run the risk of losing or damaging specimens, you reduce cost, and consults save a lot of time.
The approach allows clinicians to benefit more from each pathologist’s specific expertise. It is much easier to take part in multidisciplinary discussions with colleagues from different medical backgrounds.
Although participating pathologists required a short period to adapt to the digital method, it soon became very natural. Pathologists who were a little more skeptical at first soon saw the benefits and how easy it was to adopt this way of working.
A main component of digitalization, and its core advantage, is image recognition. On that topic, we’re collaborating with various pathology labs in the Netherlands, and with the Technical Medicine department of the University of Twente. Together, we are developing image recognitions software that ultimately will help pathologists increase the efficiency, ease and quality of their work. (Efficiency studies in progress). Of course, it will also help to improve the way we serve our clinical colleagues.
The Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution is CE marked for primary diagnostics in the EU and cleared by Health Canada for primary diagnostics.
In the U.S., the Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution is for research use only and not for use in diagnostic procedures.