Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Philips helps Labpon pathology laboratory detect cancers

Steve Rogerson
July 15, 2015
 
Netherlands-based Labpon has become the first clinical pathology laboratory in the world to have transitioned completely to digital diagnosis. With this shift, all clinical histology cases are now being assessed and diagnosed digitally with the Philips Intellisite pathology system instead of with a microscope, leading to improved laboratory efficiency, quality and service levels.
 
Pathology plays a critical role in disease detection, particularly with cancer diagnosis. Suspicious tissue samples are investigated through a microscope to determine if the tissue is malignant and consequently guides treatment decisions.
 
“Transitioning our entire workflow to digital processes demonstrates our commitment to ensuring our patients and clinical colleagues receive the fastest, most effective and best informed diagnoses possible,” said Alexi Baidoshvili, pathologist at Labpon. “The revolutionary pathology from Philips provides us the images and speed we need, and its IT product seamlessly integrates with existing lab systems, while improving collaboration. Philips’ understanding of the needs of our pathologists has ensured their adoption and improved throughput.”
 
As the largest pathology laboratory in the Netherlands, Labpon is consulted on more than 54,000 histological cases each year, which translates to more than 300,000 slides of human tissue. Each of these slides needs to be prepared, analysed, diagnosed, reported and archived every year. Digitising these images eases collaboration across sites, reducing costs. Improved cooperation also allows access to specialists, engendering multidisciplinary discussions to share expertise and knowledge to come to a better diagnosis for the patient.
 
“Digitisation of pathology offers a new way to tackle some of the growing challenges in the field, like higher cancer rates and the massive quantity of slides generated annually at these sites,” said Russell Granzow, general manager for digital pathology at Philips. “Labpon’s success in moving to entirely digital workflows emphasises the role our solutions are playing across the health continuum to enable definitive diagnosis and improved patient care.”
 
Labpon, which has 17 pathologists and 115 employees, is also partnering with two other major labs in the Netherlands – University Medical Center Groningen and Isala Klinieken in Zwolle – to form a virtual network that allows 49 pathologists to collaborate easily, share cases in a secured way and directly set up consultations.
 
Labpon has been working towards this milestone with Philips since 2012, using a structured change management approach to full digital adoption by its pathologists. This makes Labpon and Philips a valuable resource seeking to help others in their digital transformation.
 
The Philips platform helps pathologists make that next step in workflow improvement and accelerate knowledge sharing between care providers. Digital pathology can open up ways to get more information from tissue samples and connect with other diagnostic modalities.
 
The system is CE marked for primary diagnostics in the EU and Health Canada. In the USA, it is cleared by FDA for diagnostic use in the evaluation of HER2 expression in breast cancer and is offered for research use.