The network of PathSight workstations, designed and supplied by Medical Solutions' subsidiary Fairfield Imaging, will provide highspeed digital imaging from motorised microscopes combined with the latest Web-based virtual private network (VPN) technology for secure data sharing between consultant pathologists and their clinical colleagues throughout the region.
Each workstation enables tissue samples to be examined at high resolution under the control of a clinician operating from a remote location. The new telepathology network is aimed at establishing the standard of diagnostic care for cancer patients and organ transplant patients throughout the region at the high level already achieved in the metropolitan centres.
Like other regions of the United Kingdom, Scotland currently faces a staffing problem in implementing the Calman Hine recommendations for improving cancer services. A shortage of pathologists is exacerbated by the relative difficulties for clinicians in travelling between the hospitals. Moreover, the transportation of urgent tissue samples may involve a long and difficult cross country journey. This agreement will see an immediate and significant improvement in the speed of cancer treatment in Scotland.
Charles Green, Chief Executive, commented: "Telepathology can make a very significant contribution to team-based patient management. It has been reported that the United Kingdom has one of the poorest records in Europe in terms of life expectancy of cancer victims and Medical Solutions is working closely with the health service to improve the situation."
"The single most important factor in improving cancer survival is early diagnosis. We have already commenced roll-out of our PathLore remote locum service, which gives hospitals nationwide access to the leading pathologists. PathSight will give Britain a technological edge over Europe; it can make a radical improvement to Britain's position in the cancer league table."
"Medical Solutions has also provided other key technology to United Kingdom health services this year including the supply of Fairfield's Automatic Ploidy systems to two leading London hospitals, three SurePath, formerly Autocyte, Liquid Based Cytology systems, and Kinetics Live Cell Imaging systems to the University College of London, and Cancer Research U.K.", added Mr. Green.
Professor David Harrison, Pathology Department, University Medical School, Edinburgh, commented: "This is an exciting development, linking experts in different hospitals and various regions, to form a virtual department of pathology. A key factor is that the use of digital technology will allow better links to service multi-disciplinary meetings. Moreover, access to expertise in specialist areas will result, and ultimately a new model of working in pathology, based on providing the best information possible for patient management, has been created."