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January 29, 2017

A unique platform for digital image exchange for Pathology Diagnostics

The Dutch pathologists and the Pathological Anatomical National Automated Archive (PALGA) are building a platform for the exchange of digital images for diagnostic purposes.

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With this initiative, called PIE (pathology image exchange) and according to PALGA unique in the world, mutual consultations and reassessments in the referring of patients should happen more easily and quickly. Healthcare digitizes rapidly and pathology can not stay behind. Diagnoses within pathology are increasingly based on digital images instead of using the microscope. PIE will soon make it possible to also exchange these digital images between pathology departments.

Data in the mail

To accomplish this, the pathologists signed a contract with the Swedish company SECTRA to construct the image exchange platform PIE. So far, the exchange of patient material takes place by regular mail. This occurs when a patient is referred from one hospital to another, when a pathologist at a hospital wants to consult a specialist, or when a group of pathologists want to look at pictures together (panel review).

This way of transport is susceptible to loss and damage and it’s slow and outdated. The digital exchange of images prevents these problems and improves the quality and speed of pathology research and consultations. PIE will contribute to the quality of the diagnosis and the best treatment for the patient. The platform will be operational in mid 2017.

Tender procedure

The Pathology Projects foundation chose the Swedish company SECTRA after a European tender procedure. Sectra will execute the project together with RAM Mobile Data and Deutsche Telekom Healthcare. The new platform PIE will be joined with the national network of PALGA. This ensures that sensitive data is protected to the highest standard.

The project is supported by IKNL. IKNL wants to boost innovation of panel diagnostics in pathology. The Dutch Society for Pathology (NVVP) and the PALGA foundation believe that this is another major progress in the quality of pathology diagnostics.

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