Philips and Mount Sinai Health System in New York are working on a new digital pathology database tool that advances clinical research for diseases like cancer.
For anyone tracking advances in the diagnosis and treatment of highly complex diseases such as cancer, the announcement by Philips of a state-of-the-art digital image repository of patient tissue samples must surely be exciting. Although the collaboration is a long way off from finding a cure for these devastating diseases, developments like this move us one step closer.
What this means
Phillips announced that it is creating a “state-of-the-art digital image repository of patient tissue samples and innovative data analytics to pursue the discovery of new tissue-based tests and unlock pathology data. The collaboration aims to advance clinical research and ultimately enable better care for complex diseases, including cancer.”
As you are no doubt are aware, pathology, including the investigation of patient tissue samples, is one of the very cornerstones of modern-day medicine.
A sample slide from the new digital patient tissue sample database. Photo: Philips
The Mount Sinai Health System in New York, which comprises seven hospital campuses serving approximately 170,000 inpatients and 2.6 million outpatients annually, offers the perfect “petri dish” if you will to grow this innovative approach.
Because over the years, the Mount Sinai sites have collectively stored hundreds of thousands of tissue samples in the form of glass tissue slides. Together, Philips and Mount Sinai will now begin creating a comprehensive digital image repository containing the digital scans of all these glass tissue slides.
Ultimately, the data will be made available to the very researchers who may one day find cures we so desperately need.
According to a news release from Philips, "...by integrating, analyzing and presenting the data available from whole slide pathology images, clinical laboratory services, genetic analysis, radiology, and surgical and molecular pathology, Philips and Mount Sinai believe the unique insights obtained will enable the development of predictive analytics to help personalize patient care. "
"The digitization of pathology gives us the unprecedented opportunity to access vast amounts of unlocked data and view it within the context of other images, results and clinical information,” said Frans van Houten, CEO Royal Philips. “It is our vision that our improved understanding of these data will help us enable better, more individualized care with greater confidence.
This collaboration with Philips has the potential to help drive a new paradigm in healthcare that includes the optimization of treatment efficacy and superior clinical outcomes. Our ultimate goal with this initiative is to translate data into knowledge to maximize personalized patient management.
For my money, anything that leads to greater, personalized patient empowerment gets my vote. Plus when you add the potential for this digital database to help pathologists and researchers identify and potentially aid the treatment of disease, the collaboration sounds like a win-win for everyone.
The nuviun blog is intended to contribute to discussion and stimulate debate on important issues in global digital health.