The National Pathology Imaging Co-operative (NPIC) is expanding the use of international medical imaging IT and cybersecurity company Sectra’s pathology solution. This opens opportunities for NHS trusts throughout the UK to digitize pathology and improve patient diagnoses.

March 7, 2022 — The National Pathology Imaging Co-operative (NPIC) is expanding the use of international medical imaging IT and cybersecurity company Sectra’s pathology solution. This opens opportunities for NHS trusts throughout the UK to digitize pathology and improve patient diagnoses.

The expansion now taking place will help laboratories in different parts of the UK digitize their pathology services. Big wins are expected for patients and busy healthcare professionals. It is a result of a 5-year contract signed in October 2021 and is part of a multi-million pound NHS initiative that already spans six trusts.

Initially, it will involve providing support to more hospitals in the North of England, but the agreement will also allow NPIC to scale its approach and the Sectra technology to other hospitals across the country, as many more consider how to begin digital pathology initiatives and take advantage of emerging government funding. In addition, it will allow NPIC to create two new specialist digital pathology networks in paediatrics and sarcoma tissue cancers. 

NPIC is led by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and NHS laboratories in the surrounding region that are now becoming amongst the most technologically advanced and interconnected anywhere in the world. Organizations involved are ending their reliance on microscopes by sharing digital images of patients’ tissue. In turn, the region will be able to send images to specialists more easily and embrace artificial intelligence to enhance how illnesses are diagnosed and managed.   

Professor Darren Treanor, NPIC’s director, and a practising pathologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Digital pathology is now a national priority. Many NHS hospitals want to take advantage of this powerful technology to deliver a better service for patients. With NPIC, we hope to provide a proven model, underpinned with advanced technology from Sectra, that will help many more hospitals quickly realize their ambitions and benefit from the groundwork we have already done.” 

Basharat Hussain, deployment director at NPIC, added: “Our work may have begun with a regional focus, but we are moving to address some significant clinical priorities nationally in areas like paediatrics and sarcoma cancer, where pathology specialists are especially scarce. We have now identified a significantly bigger application for our programme. We have shown how digital pathology can work and we can help the rest of the NHS replicate and scale using our learnings, in order to get pathology digitized to support better patient care.” 

Jane Rendall, managing director for Sectra UK and Ireland, said: “We have been working with hospitals and regions throughout the UK for years to embrace digital approaches to diagnostics in a way that improves the working lives of staff, and that enables sustainable new ways to deliver services and cope with rising demand. NHS organizations are now embarking on this journey at pace, and have an opportunity to learn from pioneers, such as those in the North of England, who have been committed to making this work, and who are now ready to scale their success.”

The pathology solution is part of Sectra’s enterprise imaging solution that provides a unified strategy for all imaging needs while lowering operational costs. The scalable and modular solution, with a VNA at its core, allows healthcare providers to grow from ology to ology and from enterprise to enterprise. Visit Sectra’s website to read more about Sectra and why it’s top-ranked in 'Best in KLAS'.

For more information: www.sectra.com

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