Digital Pathology and Integrated Care Systems

Digital Pathology and Integrated Care Systems
6 September 2023
A white paper by the Institute of Biomedical Science and Microsoft

Today, along with Microsoft, we are launching a new white paper: Digital Pathology and Integrated Care Systems: Enabling high-quality, equitable digital pathology services across networks, ICSs and nationally.

The paper outlines the advantages, trends and challenges of digital pathology. It explains the systems and processes involved, provides a road map towards regional digital pathology networks and outlines the role of the public cloud.

IBMS Chief Executive David Wells commented:

It's been excellent working with Microsoft on this round table and forward-looking white paper. If we can help companies that provide vast IT solutions to understand the needs of our services, we are one step closer to delivering the healthcare of the future.

The paper finishes with a combined vision to help advance the biomedical science workforce, as reproduced below.

Our commitment to digital pathology:

The Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), Microsoft and organisations represented by the authors of this paper believe that digital pathology has the potential to revolutionise the way pathology is practiced.

We commit to: 

Engage the public and the system. We will continue to communicate the benefits of digital pathology – in terms of quality, finance and staffing (particularly for the public and ICSs) – and promote and inform how it enables better, more efficient care.

Continued focus on interoperability and standards. We will work to define standards, encourage conformance to standards and enable access to clinical data via those standards, including those defined by IHE (XDS, XCA, XCA-I).

Standardised information governance policies. We will encourage the development of national standards for data governance relating to shared imaging services and appropriate access and permissions management, linked to clear technical specifications.

Patient access to results. We will explore the value of providing access to pathology results directly with patients, helping empower the public while reducing the reporting burden on clinicians.

Digital training. We will continue providing additional training to embed digital training for biomedical scientists and pathologists, to unlock the benefits of digitised laboratories and pathology services. We will also encourage and work with the royal colleges to develop
learning and development opportunities.

Education for ICSs on the systems in place. We will work together to help create a picture of the systems which are in place in different regions, and how those systems can better enable collaborative working for pathology and other clinical specialties.

Through these actions, we will help the diagnostic workforce to diagnose diseases faster and more accurately, facilitate better communication and co-ordination of care, and improve the accuracy of diagnoses – reducing costs, increasing efficiency, and improving patient care.


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