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HCG Bengaluru completely digitises histopathology diagnosis

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Digital diagnosis is now default diagnosis of lab for surgical pathology and 100 per cent of FFPE slides are digitally scanned into high-resolution digital images

Health Care Global became the first hospital in the country to completely digitise histopathology workflow for primary diagnosis at the HCG-Strand Laboratory at KR Road, Bengaluru. The hospital had introduced a US FDA approved digital pathology solution from Philips Intellisite Pathology Solutions and now the laboratory at HCG has successfully transformed to a 100 per cent digital lab for histopathology and computational pathology. The lab is also now accredited by College of American Pathologists (CAP) and National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), India, for its digital pathology facility in the fields of histopathology, cytopathology, frozen section facility as well as the artificial intelligence based breast algorithm.

Digital diagnosis is now the default diagnosis of the lab for surgical pathology and 100 per cent of FFPE slides (formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded) are digitally scanned into high-resolution digital images. These are then viewed, analysed, annotated and shared with other pathologists in the network in real time. Majority of the pathologists in the laboratory are now working digitally.

100 per cent digital histopathology labs helps patients by providing more accurate results and ease of access to expert opinions. It significantly improves the turnaround time for reports as well as cost saving in terms of glass logistics of slides and blocks. Digitisation also means there is no longer worry about the risk of losing or damaging specimens in the transit.

Speaking on the occasion,  Dr BS Ajaikumar, Chairman and CEO, HCG  said, “With 100 per cent digitalisation of histopathology services, HCG has moved further in revolutionising cancer treatment, making it possible to focus on improved outcomes for patients.  These digital images are powerful tools for pathologists, helping them to analyse samples and prepare histopathology reports more accurately and efficiently. This technology marks a step forward in cancer treatment through precision, speed, efficiency and ease of use with immense potential to provide significant clinical benefits to both the physicians and patients”.

Dr Veena R, Consultant Pathologist, Head of Histopathology, Strand Life Sciences, Bengaluru said, “With increasing incidence of cancer cases, pathologists have to manage the increasing workload more efficiently and this is possible through streamlining the workflow, sharpening diagnostic skills and facilitating partnership. Digital pathology helps in improving the efficiency of pathologists and quality of cancer diagnosis by enhancing collaboration across care teams and improving time to diagnosis. A pathologist takes almost one hour to report a case of Radical Prostatectomy while on digital slides it can be reported in 30 minutes more accurately. In the era of precision medicine, where treatment options are tailor made for each patient, pathologists adapting to latest technological advancements, such as digital pathology is a welcome sign. Corporate hospitals abroad have successfully transformed to 100 per cent digitisation, and now India is following. While digital pathology improves workflow in histopathology, computational pathology is helping the pathologists to use digital images in more varied and efficient ways. Smart image recognition algorithms, in future, will help the pathologists to focus on the things that matter most”.

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