DIGITAL PATHOLOGY IN SWEDEN
Sweden is one of the most progressive countries in the world when it comes to digitalizing pathology. The University Hospital in the city of Linköping was the pioneer with digital pathology starting 15 years ago. Doctors graduate from a total of 7 sites in Sweden, and each site also teaches pathology. Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm installed high throughput scanners a few years back and are now scanning almost all clinical slides. Pathologists can choose whether to read on conventional microscopes or WSI. Most cases are still read on a conventional light microscope, but there is growing interest in going digital all the way.
A MORE FLEXIBLE AND AFFORDABLE SLIDE SCANNING SOLUTION NEEDED
The high throughput scanners at the hospital are available also for scanning slides for research purposes, but the process is costly and slow, as scans must be commissioned with a set fee per slide, and the clinical cases always have priority.
THE OCUS MAKES SCANNING EASIER
Earlier this year the Karolinska University Hospital received funding for the development of a database with Whole Slide Images (WSI) of different subspeciality cases, aimed towards residents in training. A decision was made to purchase an Grundium Ocus. Karolinska Institutet has had a similar WSI database for two years as a tool for training undergraduates. Both databases are set up on the Aiforia AI platform.
Hannes says the small Ocus scanner has come in very well-received, and it is especially practical for scanning a few slides, discussing specimens for research or use in education. “The Ocus enables us to quickly and easily scan slides for research and education without the time-consuming and costly administrative process. We also now have full control over scanning and can easily change the settings if we’re not happy with the results. I would recommend the Ocus for smaller batches of slides where you want full control over the results. Hospitals that haven’t yet digitalized their workflow can benefit from an Ocus for remote consultation, frozen section, etc.”, says Hannes. He continues with a story on the practicality and portability of the Ocus: “A colleague actually brought the Ocus to his country house this summer and scanned some research slides from his iPad while resting in a hammock!”
Hannes speculates the Ocus would be particularly suitable for frozen section, even for future clinical use at the Karolinska. “FS slides must be evaluated immediately, and the cover slips don’t have to have dried on completely as the open design means the slides can be simply placed on, rather than robotically inserted sideways, like in other scanner designs”, Hannes adds. This makes the Ocus quicker to work with, and it’s always available when a pathologist needs it.
THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL PATHOLOGY
According to Hannes the major hurdle in advancing many medical technologies is that there is no governing body dedicated to innovation and pushing new equipment, methods, and inventions. Progress largely rests on individual medical professionals, who aside from their daily tasks nurture ‘pet projects’, doing research and discussing with colleagues in their spare time. In the fast-paced work environment of a hospital with additional constraints from regulatory issues, staff shortage and most recently the global pandemic, innovation isn’t always in the most fertile ground. “We will see AI being implemented more widely, although it will take some getting used to by doctors. It’ll be a while until computers diagnose more accurately than a human expert, but in the meantime, AI will make pathologists’ work faster and easier by counting nucleae or filtering out preset details in a specimen”, says Hannes.
The Grundium Ocus personal slide scanners make digital microscopy simple and fast. An excellent quality-to-price ratio makes an Ocus scanner attainable to practically any healthcare establishment since a heavy procurement process is usually not needed. The Grundium Ocus® scanners truly have what it takes to be the staple equipment of any hospital, clinic and school, a fantastic remote tool in every location of a pathology service provider, and even on every pathologist’s desk as a personal scanner.
If you are interested in taking control of your scanning process and making remote work easier for yourself or your team, book a free, non-binding online demo of the Ocus scanners, or just message us with any questions.