February 25, 2008, Orlando, FL--Revolutionary technology to enable pathologists and other medical professionals to view, collaborate and rapidly manipulate multi-gigabyte digital images in a virtual environment is being demonstrated publicly for the first time by Harris Corporation at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference and exhibition (February 24-28, 2008, Orlando, FL).
The Harris imaging technology, originally designed for the U.S. Intelligence Community and civilian agencies, enables a pathologist workflow in a digital and collaborative context. By simply accessing local or wide-area networks, multiple pathologists can view, pan across and zoom into digital images as if they were looking through a microscope at the actual slides.
As opposed to radiology, where most diagnostic data today is collected digitally, pathology still uses glass slides with tissue samples that are examined under a microscope. If a second opinion is needed, the tissue samples must be physically shipped to other locations. The unique capability of the Harris technology to move very large images--some tens of gigabytes in size--transmit those images, and manipulate them without delay or latency, speeds the diagnostic process for patients and eliminates the possibility that the one-of-a-kind pathology samples will be lost or damaged.
During HIMSS, visitors to the Harris booth will be able to experience a "pathology cockpit" to view and manipulate remote digital pathology images, annotate the images with digital notes, and delineate special areas of interest on the sample, such as a cluster of tumor cells. This experience and the associated notes and annotations can be automatically shared for collaboration with other pathologists and specialists any where in the world.
"This Harris technology is potentially disruptive and will create enterprise intelligence through digital pathology. We are breaking through previous limits in computing and image processing to enable collaborative viewing, archival, and retrieval of large data volumes in a virtual environment with no latency in the viewing experience," said Dr. Bart Harmon, MD, pathologist, and chief medical officer of Harris Healthcare Solutions. "Using this breakthrough Harris technology in the diagnostic setting gives pathologists the ability to have the traditional you-are-there, microscope experience in a digital world."
The digitizing of pathology samples is made possible by the development of new, highly advanced scanners that allow whole-slide imaging. BioImagene, a leading provider of total digital pathology imaging solutions including the new iScan system for pathologists, researchers, and drug developers, is supplying the pathology slides used in the Harris demo. Harris also is collaborating with researchers and pathologists at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, to further the technology and application of digital imagery use in the clinical setting.