Major technological advance (Telepathology) improves cancer treatment at Kuwait Cancer Control Center

| July 9, 2012

The University Health Network (UHN) in partnership with the Kuwait Cancer Control Center (KCCC) and the support of the Ministry of Health, have installed cutting-edge telepathology equipment in the KCCC laboratories

This story illustrates in a nutshell, make more significant by the transatlantic referral, the value proposition for telepathology.  The right diagnosis on the right patient and the right time without delays in slide handling while protecting patient health information between those who need it. Another win for Pathology 2.0.

Telepathology is defined as the "practice of pathology at a distance using telecommunications technology to make it possible to transfer image-rich pathology data between distant locations for the purposes of diagnosis, education, and research." UHN is a leader in the field of telepathology. 

The Chief Pathologist at the Kuwait Cancer Control Centre (KCCC), Dr Salah Al-Waheeb, was asked by a colleague from a nearby hospital to look at microscope slides of a tissue specimen from a Kuwait citizen that he thought had a rare type of cancer. 

Usually, when this type of situation arises; a biopsy is done to get a specimen from a mass found in the body. This specimen is then placed on microscope slides to be reviewed by a pathologist to confirm the type of cancer and its changes of malignancy. Specialists would then be able to prescribe the correct treatment for the diagnosed cancer. 

Dr Salah Al-Waheeb looked at the microscope slides and requested that they be sent for review by his Canadian colleague, a specialist pathologist located at UHN in Toronto, Canada

Ordinarily referring a case like this would mean that the microscope slides would have to be shipped by priority courier, a process that can take at least 3-4 days for travelling only. 

This time, all Dr Salah Al-Waheeb had to do was press a button on his computer, and high-quality digital images were transmitted to University Health Network in Toronto using a process that has advanced security features designed to protect patient privacy. 

In Toronto, Dr Danny Ghazarian examined the digital images on his computer, and on Friday, in less than 24 hours after Dr Salah Al-Waheeb had first received a request for consultation, he had the answer. This state-of-the-art technology brought highly specialized pathological expertise to KCCC within 24 hours.

Dr Salah Al-Waheeb reports that this is an excellent example of how KCCC is greatly improving the quality and timeliness of service to their patients. Adil Khalfan, Regional Director, UHN Kuwait agrees, saying that with the introduction of this new technology, "KCCC has rapid access to expert opinion without the time delays and risks associated with shipping glass microscope slides."

Khalfan further stated "Activation of this system is a huge step forward in the provision of accurate diagnosis and treatment of patients at KCCC. The Ministry of Health should be applauded for their efforts in providing state-of-the art care, equipment, and systems of treatment to the people in Kuwait." 

The introduction of telepathology is just one of many benefits of the UHN and KCCC Partnership, enhancing joint learning between Kuwait pathologists and UHN Pathologists. It provides those living in Kuwait with access to world class pathology services without having to leave their family and friends. In addition, this technology reduces the wait time for results to be viewed. In the treatment of cancer, timely and accurate diagnosis is key to successful treatment and management of the disease.


Category: Digital Pathology News, Pathology News

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