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  • Virtual Microscope Acquired by Roche

Virtual Microscope Acquired by Roche

Mar 31 2016 Read 1712 Times

Healthcare company Roche has acquired the intellectual property and technology of the Leeds Virtual Microscope (LVM), an innovative system designed to help pathologists making cancer diagnoses. Developed at the University of Leeds and the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust it is expected to be integrated into Roche’s digital pathology portfolio.

Professor Roy Ruddle, from the University of Leeds’ School of Computing and co-leader of the project, said: “The system is currently the only microscope in the world that provides pathologists with a field of view as large as a conventional light microscope. We also have developed a highly innovative user interface that lets pathologists interactively view large patient cases of 100 slides or more to make complex diagnoses.” 

Dr Darren Treanor, Consultant Pathologist with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the University's Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology, said: “We are not just offering parity with glass-based diagnostics. Going digital means you are no longer tied to the glass. Second opinions are a common part of cancer diagnosis and in some cases that means the glass slide has to travel across the country or abroad to get to the right people. That can slow down the system and introduce delays for patients.”

“A major teaching hospital like St James’s University Hospital in Leeds produces in excess of 250,000 slides in a year and all that glass has to be archived. Digitising the system would not only remove the need for physical archives, but also give doctors much faster access to past cases,” Dr Treanor said.

“But most importantly, when we evaluated the LVM with our medical colleagues, they were impressed with its speedy interface and eager to have the tool available in their laboratories. As a result, we will be deploying the LVM for diagnostic use in our hospital, starting with breast cancer in 2016.”

The LVM has been developed to run on systems that range from laptops, to high-definition medical displays and 50 megapixel “Powerwalls”. In 2016 the LVM, which won the 2014 Yorkshire & Humber NHS Innovation Award for Medical Devices and Diagnostics will be rolled out across 13 hospitals in Yorkshire Deanery.

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