PathLAKE is one of three centres to receive a £13.5 million funding boost following its work in Digital Pathology to speed up the diagnosis of deadly diseases such as Cancer. Launched in January 2021, PathLAKE Plus is enabling digital pathology and AI to be rolled out at more than 10 NHS Trusts across England.
PathLAKE Plus is the world’s largest clinical implementation of digital pathology and AI to date, with an ambition to deliver the benefits of these innovative technologies to 17 million NHS patients. Digital pathology has not only proved its worth during the pandemic, allowing pathologists to work remotely and safety from home, but these technologies have huge potential to streamline pathology lab workflows and improve diagnosis to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients.
Now is an exciting time for PathLAKE Plus, as the project's first installation of digital pathology equipment is now taking place at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. It was two years ago that UHCW NHS Trust and NUH NHS Trust joined forces with other NHS partners to form the PathLAKE Plus consortium, with a vision to deliver the innovative AI solutions needed in NHS pathology labs. As such, seeing that vision starting to become a reality represents a major achievement for the project.
In August, 5 high volume Hamamatsu digital pathology scanners were installed in the Nottingham Cellular Pathology laboratory. This gives us the capacity to scan all the diagnostic slides in our department. We are very pleased to be starting the implementation of this exciting innovation, which will be the biggest change in the way diagnostic Histopathology is delivered in several generations.
We are linking the scanners to Halo AP, our digital pathology image management platform, and the other IT systems within the department and will be aiming to scan over 350,000 slides per year when the system is fully operational. Our team are redesigning our processes using Lean management tools and see this as the start of a journey to completely transform the service we offer to patients.
Our first goal will be to start diagnostic reporting of cases this autumn, rolling this out across the entire service by early 2022. By working with PathLAKE Plus, we are building the foundation on which computational pathology and the introduction of AI can be introduced into clinical diagnostic use in the NHS.
Digital pathology is the future for tissue diagnosis, offering many opportunities to improve patient care. PathLAKE Plus will be leading the way in realising these opportunities over the coming years.