The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the world’s largest professional membership organization for pathologists and laboratory professionals, has paved the way to digital pathology with the creation of ASCPedia, an innovative and educational online slide library utilizing Alfresco Software.
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Roughly 70 percent of disease diagnoses in the U.S. come from a laboratory. Yet glass slides – the cornerstone of the pathologist’s workflow – are difficult to ship and often get lost or broken, which makes real-time collaboration between medical professionals difficult. Determined to find a solution, ASCP created a library using high resolution digital scanning to convert glass slides to digital files and used Alfresco One, Alfresco’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform, to compile, store and organize the digital slides to make it easier for ASCP’s more than 100,000 members to collaborate and share information.
“Alfresco has afforded ASCP the ability to develop a really unique solution within the pathology community,” ASCP CTO Ron Swan said. “Alfresco’s simple, open platform allows ASCP to integrate with the larger medical taxonomy and allows ASCP members to collaborate and educate themselves on a number of disciplines within pathology.”
ASCP members can access ASCPedia and use the digital slides to facilitate real-time remote and crowd-sourced diagnoses, virtual training and big data analysis. They can also use their personal libraries within ASCPedia as a teaching tool and to support their case-based learning. These libraries can also be uploaded to Google Glass and other devices for use in the field, particularly for autopsies where pathologists could access slides and reference manuals, as well as take pictures and dictate findings without using their hands.
Alfresco was chosen as the backbone for ASCP because of its ability to integrate with other standards and technologies, particularly Amazon Web Services (AWS). ASCP uses AWS as a backstop for its internal data centers due to the size of its digital slide repository.
“ASCP is helping its industry solve problems that can benefit healthcare at large by unlocking these valuable digital records to improve pathology on numerous levels,” Alfresco Co-founder and CTO John Newton said. “Alfresco’s modern approach to ECM is uniquely suited to support ASCPedia’s 360-degree approach, allowing integration with other solutions, scaling to hold massive amounts of content and flexible enough to help users access it when, where and how they want.”
Alfresco provides modern Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) software built on open standards that enables organizations to unlock the power of their business-critical content. With the controls that IT demands and the simplicity that end users love, Alfresco’s open source technology enables global organizations to collaborate more effectively across cloud, mobile, hybrid and on-premise environments. Innovating at the intersection of content, collaboration and business process, Alfresco software manages over seven billion documents, powering the daily tasks of more than 11 million users worldwide. Select Alfresco customers include: Amnesty International, Cisco, DAB Bank, FOX, NASA, PGA Tour, and Sony Entertainment. Founded in 2005, Alfresco’s UK headquarters are in Maidenhead, UK with U.S. headquarters in San Mateo, CA. Please visit us at http://www.alfresco.com.
Founded in 1922 in Chicago, ASCP is a medical professional society with more than 100,000 member board-certified anatomic and clinical pathologists, pathology residents and fellows, laboratory professionals, and students. ASCP provides excellence in education, certification, and advocacy on behalf of patients, pathologists, and laboratory professionals. To learn more, visit www.ascp.org. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ascp_chicago and connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ASCP.Chicago.
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