The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has published its much anticipated study on the future use of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) biorepository (previously known as the AFIP Tissue Repository) which was created fromseveral decades of collecting tissue samples from military personnel. As a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission and the closing of the predecessor repository, the DoD charged IOM with considering how the Joint Pathology Center (JPC) should address several questions dealing with the ethics, privacy, accessibility and potential cost recovery for the use of the biorepository.
Digitization of the biorepository was a technology considered by IOM for its potential to provide many of the solutions sought by the authoring panel. Rob Herriott, Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs at DigiPath, Inc. commented, “We are pleased with the findings of the recently published IOM report. The report rightly recognizes that digitization of the archive or portions thereof can be a key component to providing efficient and effective access to the repository.”
Herriott continued, “Opening the repository to medical, research and educational needs is a positive step to increasing the utility of the JPC biorepository. Digitization can be a critical component in the future accessibility of this national medical treasure. DigiPath digitization directly addresses the privacy, long term storage, and cost containment concerns, among other issues identified by the panel.”
I really think that the IOM panel demonstrated great insight as to how technology can provide the sustaining elements so that the biorepository will be available for today’s and tomorrow’s medical, research and teaching professionals. Companies like DigiPath, providers of affordable digital pathology scanning systems will provide JPC a means to a more cost effective approach to digitization.
Based on the feedback provided on the report thus far, it appears industry is supportive of the panel’s indication that the JPC biorepository should be preserved and opened to civilian use under strict privacy and ethical constraints.