The week leading up to and the week of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) meeting are often times for significant news in pathology and in recent years for digital pathology. For good reason – perhaps the single largest gathering of pathologists, not only from North America but from across the world. Many countries, departments, groups and every subspecialty in pathology is present at the meeting.
So it is only fitting that Leica Biosystems, with its recent acquisition of Aperio and the partnership Aperio formed with Dell last year would announce the launch of their cloud-based consulting network for real-time expert review for cases from overseas with participating medical schools and commercial laboratories.
And they aren’t the only ones. PathCentral also announced their Digital Pathology Network, The First Comprehensive Online Information Exchange Open to the Global Pathology Community.
And if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to read about “How a Small Town in Haiti is Changing Global Healthcare” and watch “Diagnosis without Borders“
There is a common theme here. Much like our building materials, pool tables, clothing, toys, televisions, PCs, Smartphones and a million other products, these same countries will export their pathology cases to the U.S. But instead of the cargo ships going back empty in our case, they will send back pathology support and reports to guide diagnoses, treatment, management and clinical trial management.
The untethering of pathologist from microscope, histology lab and LIS is here and is now worldwide.
One does not have to go back many years or USCAP meetings to remember folks concerned about “outsourcing of pathology services” to foreign countries. Naysayers over the years have told me that beyond cost, support requirements, lack of IT resources, speed, workflow, user interface issues, network requirements, etc… one of the major impediments to the wide scale adoption of digital pathology has been a fear of “outsourcing”. Our skills and services would be commoditized, sold on the open market to the lowest bidder and sent offshore.
There are of course many reasons why this has not occurred and will not occur. Mainly, capacity of pathologists elsewhere where there are dramatic shortages of pathologists on many continents, lack of subspecialty expertise and in-turn a lack of quality to insure standards of care are being met that would be expected of the American community which will become increasingly important as fee-for-service volume based models become pay-for-performance quality/outcomes based models of care.
While you may be better off going to Malaysia or India for your open heart surgery or joint replacement, Western pathology is still the best in the world and this technology offers us the opportunity to provide it on a scale to places that could not previously have access to do so.
Leica Biosystems and Dell Enable Access to Pathology Images Between China and the U.S.
VISTA, Calif., March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Leica Biosystems, which through its acquisition of Aperio became the leading provider of digital pathology systems, announced today that Chinese physicians have access to U.S. healthcare organizations for real-time, expert review of pathology cases through the first scalable, secure medical cloud network through its strategic collaboration with Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences.
The U.S. institutions providing pathology services include: The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Dianon/Lab Corp. and ProPath. According to Krista Crews, executive director of ProPath, “Through the use of amazingly innovative technologies, pathology services can be provided efficiently and rapidly to support the needs in China.”
“We are pleased to now have access to additional pathology resources,” said Hongbo Li, M.D., a GI pathologist and co-founder of Sinopath Diagnostics. Located in the Beijing International Medical Center, Sinopath Diagnostics provides services for routine anatomic pathology diagnoses, pathology consultation, tele-IHC, companion diagnostics and genetic testing. “By improving communication among our colleagues, we can enhance the quality of care we provide for our patients,” said Li.
“Demand for pathology services in China is growing rapidly and we need easier access to experts both inside and outside of China to keep up with the demand,” said Shiang Huang, M.D., founder and CEO of Kindstar Globalgene Technology. Kindstar provides laboratory services to over 3,300 Chinese hospitals for advanced diagnostics in oncology and other medical specialties.
“Connecting China and the U.S. through our collaboration with Dell begins to meet our goal to address the regional and global imbalances of pathology expertise available for patient care by enabling access to pathologists, regardless of location,” said Matthias Weber, M.D., president of Leica Biosystems.
The cloud-based solution, powered by Dell’s Unified Clinical Archive, is a global, secure and scalable IT platform. This provides the foundation of best practices to optimize access to large pathology images so physicians can quickly and easily review and collaborate to expedite patient results and treatment decisions.
“Dell is excited to work with Leica Biosystems on this initiative and to facilitate the sharing of whole slide pathology images via the cloud,” said August Calhoun, Ph.D., vice president and general manager of Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences. “This is a prime example of how a hybrid cloud solution with application-neutral data management capabilities can break down traditional information silos and allow healthcare organizations to securely manage, store and share data to advance patient care even across great distances.”
About Leica Biosystems
Leica Biosystems is a global leader in laboratory workflow solutions for anatomic pathology, striving to advance cancer diagnostics to improve patients’ lives. Leica Biosystems provides a comprehensive product range for each step in the pathology process, from sample preparation and staining to imaging and reporting. Recognizing there is a shortage of Pathology expertise worldwide, as well as increasing sub specialization, Leica Biosystems expanded its capability in pathology imaging with Aperio ePathology Solutions enabling greater access for Pathologists through market leading whole slide scanners, NETWORK solutions that enables remote, real-time viewing and easy distribution of images for collaboration, and PRECISION solutions that provide pathologists with easy-to-use quantitative image analysis to improve clinical and research productivity, reproducibility, and consistency. Leica Biosystems is represented in over 100 countries. It has manufacturing facilities in 6 countries, sales and service organizations in 19 countries, and an international network of dealers. Further information can be found at www.leicabiosystems.com.
Source: Leica Biosystems