Oldham laboratory leading the way in digital diagnostics

30 May 2024

The Royal Oldham Hospital is speeding up test results and treatment after becoming the first pathology laboratory in Greater Manchester to use digital images for biopsies.

This advancement in technology involves the scanning of traditional glass slides so they can now be viewed as an image rather than through a microscope to provide a diagnosis for patients. 

Led by the Greater Manchester Pathology Network, this major milestone is the culmination of 15 months of work since the programme began. The project has been delivered whilst the laboratory team continue to provide a high-quality service for pathology tests for patients.

Using digital pathology, results can be shared securely between hospital experts across the network, replacing the need to transport glass slide samples between hospitals.

This will mean a faster turnaround time for test results and treatment can be started sooner. 

The team at the Royal Oldham Hospital have chosen to prioritise bladder, colonic and duodenal biopsies to enable all consultant histopathologists and trainees to complete the required training to report digitally and safely. 

Amanda Ogden, service manager, Cellular Pathology and Mortuary Service, said: “We’re thrilled that we’ve gone live with digital pathology here at Oldham. This will revolutionise how we work and operate and ultimately lead to a quicker turnaround in testing and treatment for the patients. It really is a gamechanger for colleagues working in our labs who do a tremendous job.”

Beth Tumilty, programme lead, Greater Manchester Diagnostics Network, added: “Oldham pathology are the trailblazers within the GM Pathology network, and I am excited to continue with the team on this journey to achieve optimisation of the system. This new technology will enhance resilience, maintain high standards of diagnostic accuracy and improve overall patient outcomes with faster treatment turnaround times.”

The roll out of digital pathology across Greater Manchester continues at pace, with the laboratory at Salford Royal Hospital soon to follow. The ambitious programme will see all seven laboratories across the region implement digital pathology by 2025. 

Zameer looking at digital image
Zameer looking at digital image


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