Washington D.C., USA – At the United States & Canadian Academy of Pathology 2010 annual meeting (March 20-26, Washington DC, USA), Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) will unveil a work-in-progress pathology slide scanner and associated image management system. These prototype systems will form the basis of the company’s future integrated digital pathology solutions. The prototype slide scanner will be designed to overcome one of the major hurdles for mainstream introduction of digital pathology – the availability of a scanning technology that combines ease of use, speed and high image quality.
Philips’ ambitions in digital pathology fit its integrated care cycle approach to cancer care. Anatomic pathology continues to play an ever-increasing role in the diagnosis of cancer, with the vast majority of diagnoses being made or confirmed by a pathologist. By digitizing the images that pathologists normally view through a microscope, Philips’ goal is to offer solutions that help to enhance the operational efficiency and productivity of pathology departments, as well as increasing diagnostic confidence. The expected benefits to patients include improved turnaround time for lab results.
“Personalized medicine will require a complete and quantitative picture of the patient’s medical condition, and I am convinced that the digitization of pathology will contribute to this,” said John Gilbertson, M.D., Associate Chief of Pathology and Director of Pathology Informatics, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School. “But for digital solutions to fit in busy clinical histopathology labs, the availability of fast scanners and reliable, effective image management systems is key.”
“In the face of a constantly growing demand for pathology services, digitization of pathology images looks like an obvious way of increasing productivity and efficiency. Up until now, however, digital pathology has been hampered by the lack of equipment to capture and process the images in a way that fits with standard pathology workflows,” commented Bob van Gemen, General Manager of Philips Digital Pathology. “With the development of this prototype slide scanner and image management system, we have made an important step towards providing pathologists with solutions to support them in their diagnosis, decision making and reporting.”
Philips is developing its prototype slide scanner and image management system in close collaboration with leading pathology departments to meet the requirements for a seamless fit into existing workflows. Based on analysis of the throughput requirements of pathology departments, the scanner will be designed to achieve a total slide handling and imaging time of less than 50 seconds per slide, with the ability to pre-load up to 300 slides. To efficiently store, retrieve and view the digital images, the prototype image management system will be designed to handle data rates as high as 500 MB/sec
In collaboration with clinical partners, Philips is about to undertake clinical studies using its prototype high-throughput pathology slide scanner and image management system.