Challenges in Establishing the WSI Based Digital Pathology Facility and Telepathology Network between Pakistna and USA
Yukako Yagi, Imtiaz Qureshi, Asif Zafar Malik, David C Wilbur. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA; Holy Family Hospital, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Background: In Pakistan, the number of physicians is not conversant with the number of patients. When it comes to pathologists, the situation is worse and there are serious deficiencies of pathologists even at tertiary care hospitals. This project has been started in 2007 to implement a modern digital pathology facility at a Holy Family Hospital (HFH), Pawalpindi, Pakistan working with a group of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston, US. However, because of situations around the world, it was not easy to perform the project smoothly. After overcoming many challenges, we have established the telepathology network between MGH and HFH in 2011 and then the 1st Whole Slide Imaging (WSI) scanner in Pakistna has been installed. Current project goal is that MGH supports HFH to be able to support other facilities in Pakistan using the digital pathology. In the paper, we focused on training, establishment of technical and clinical network between two institutions and the implementation of a WSI scanner at HFH.
Design: A pathologist at HFH has spent for two weeks at MGH for the digital pathology training and attending the signing out sessions and conferences. Prior to the pathologist visiting, MGH prepared all necessary equipment and all required software have been installed and tested. After the pathologist returned with equipment to Pakistan, the weekly static image based teleconference has been scheduled. Screen sharing software was selected for teleconference. Also MGH could access the scanned WSI using remote access software prior to the teleconference.
Results: The training sessions for pathologist from HFH were very successful and useful for the project. Starting December 2011, a weekly conference for 1 hour between MGH and HFH has been performed. Pathologist at HFH presents 7-10 variety cases using PowerPoint. All sessions have been recorded as a video and PowerPoint file. The details of WSI based teleconference will be reported. During the conference, we do not use any of patient identifier.
Conclusions: It was most useful for us to have the pathologist at MGH for two weeks. To learn the differences of culture, pathology practice, IT environment, and having communication directly helped us to continue teleconference smoothly and also made us easier to support from US. Working with pathologist and Telemedicine center at HFH, this project is going to be extended to other institution in Pakistan.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 1:00 PM
Poster Session VI # 266, Wednesday Afternoon