The Nominoë Fund, an endowment fund for the University Hospital of Rennes, has enabled the Pathological Anatomy and Cytology Department to be equipped with a digital pathology system: the first in France. Following a 7-month deployment of the application, with the accompanying switch from optical to digital, health professionals are now experiencing a genuine technological revolution in their working practices. Thanks to the Intellisite Pathology solution developed by Philips, pathologists now analyse slides, which have been digitized upstream by laboratory technicians, on ultra high definition screens, where it has previously been necessary to examine them under a microscope.
DIGITAL PATHOLOGY, MORE RAPID AND RELIABLE DIAGNOSIS
Professor Nathalie Rioux-Leclercq, Head of the Pathological Anatomy and Cytology Department at the University Hospital, explains: “This new technology, combining innovation with anatomopathological expertise, has revolutionised the routine diagnosis of pathologies (cancers, degenerative conditions, inflammatory diseases, etc.) with an approach using digitized slides, guaranteeing accuracy and speed. Two invaluable assets for the department, which are essential for both clinicians and patients. It is also valuable when training interns. ”
Once prepared, the slides are digitized in ultra high resolution, equating to a microscope’s most powerful magnification. The data is saved and then analysed by pathologists, who make use of the information with far greater flexibility than under a microscope, thanks to the power of computerised visualisation, analysis, metrology, etc. Viewing the entire slide on screen, which is impossible under a microscope, makes a significant contribution to reading the slide, improving the quality and speed of interpretation.
MANAGERIAL SUPPORT FOR TEAMS
The department’s professionals have experienced a remarkable change in their working practices, such is the impact of digital pathology on all the processes involved in preparing, processing and analysing slides. Their involvement in a collaborative project and the cohesion between all the stakeholders, including those from outside the laboratory, were crucial for the success of this deployment. As a result, this innovative approach to anatomopathology benefits both clinicians and the patients themselves, with the solution offering real progress in terms of speed, reliability and expertise.
THE EXPERTISE OF THE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL AT THE SERVICE OF LOCAL AREAS
The pathologists within the Pathological Anatomy and Cytology Department at the University Hospital can now work by exchanging opinions within the laboratory, and even remotely – which has been tested by lockdown and the implementation of remote working during the health crisis. The pathologists from different hospitals will soon be able to collaborate, from one laboratory to another, and thereby share difficult diagnoses requiring a second opinion.
Véronique Anatole-Touzet, President of the Nominoë Fund and Chief Executive of the University Hospital of Rennes, is delighted that she and the Trustees of the Nominoë Fund opted for an innovative and successful project for diagnosing numerous illnesses, cancers or degenerative diseases. “Beyond the benefits for patients, clinicians and the team itself, this solution enables diagnoses to be shared in real time between the University Hospital’s doctors and those working in the region’s other healthcare institutions. There is real satisfaction for the Nominoë Fund in pursuing its commitment in this way and supporting innovative projects that are of real benefit to patients. ”
A SIGNIFICANT FACTOR IN THE ATTRACTIVENESS OF A MEDICAL DISCIPLINE WITH CONSIDERABLE DEMOGRAPHIC CHALLENGES
The University Hospital has vastly improved its response, in particular in terms of the time taken to provide clinicians with results, to the core requirements of pathological anatomy and cytology, a discipline also characterised by inadequate medical demography in the public sector.
A first within HUGO (University Hospitals of Western France), this digital pathology and the skills acquired by the University Hospital of Rennes can be made available to the area (interregion), where medical discussions about university hospital staff have begun within this discipline.
PHILIPS INTELLISITE PATHOLOGY SOLUTION INTERFACED WITH SCC SOFT COMPUTER’S LABORATORY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Designed by and for pathologists, IntelliSite Pathology from Philips is an in vitro diagnostic device enabling pathologists to view, review and make diagnoses on the basis of digitized images of histopathology slides.
This solution comprises ultra fast scanners and an image management system, as well as IT tools connected to SCC Soft Computer’s laboratory management system, enabling the digitization, storage, visualisation and sharing of images to be managed.
The integrated workflow solution is designed to meet the needs of laboratories in routine clinical use and to facilitate the creation of virtual networks between pathology laboratories. Implementing a digital pathology solution is primarily a team effort (doctors, technicians, laboratory assistants, secretarial staff, IT system engineers, biomedical personnel ), which enables the organisation of a department and its workflows to be reshaped, in order to benefit from the switch to digital. Consequently, Philips provided the University Hospital of Rennes with specific support as part of this project.
For David Corcos, the President of Philips France “The switch from analogue to digital is a major technological revolution for anatomopathology. Our collaboration with the University Hospital will help to increase the adoption of digital pathology and will enable more institutions to collaborate and witness the true benefits of adopting this solution: optimisation of workflows, regional collaboration, the experience of health professionals and, ultimately, an improvement in patient diagnosis”.
SCC Soft Computer, which specialises in Laboratory Management Systems (LMS) and the creation of complex interfaces, contributed to the success of digital pathology at the University Hospital of Rennes by guaranteeing the functioning of its interface with the laboratory management system. Sharing information and exchanging data are a key component required by doctors in order to produce high quality results, making patient diagnosis and follow-up more reliable.