International medical imaging IT and cybersecurity company Sectra will provide its vendor-neutral platform for AI to the consortium Northern Pathology Imaging Co-operative (NPIC). University of Leeds announced today (Tuesday November 6) that the three-year project has received a total investment of £17.1m from UK Research and Innovation and the companies involved in the programme. The consortium is now set to become a globally-leading centre for applying artificial intelligence (AI) research to cancer diagnosis.
NPIC consists of nine NHS hospitals, seven universities and ten industry-leading medical technology companies and is led by Dr Darren Treanor at the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Digital pathology images will be gathered for training AI systems and will generate about 760,000 images per year, about 1.2 Petabytes of data. The project also aims to develop more integrated ways of working across regional clinical pathology services.
Sectra will contribute to the project with its vendor-neutral platform for AI, with its IT solutions for reviewing and handling medical images, Sectra PACS and Sectra VNA, at its core. Sectra will also carry out the integrations with scanners and Laboratory Information Systems (LIMS). Additionally, Sectra will provide its solution for sharing images (IEP), which will contribute to a ‘national pathology exchange’ solution. It allows images to be shared between NHS sites nationally so that patients can benefit from second opinions from anywhere in the UK.
“Sectra brings in comprehensive experience with imaging platforms and dealing with large amounts of data. We are proud to have the opportunity to share and use it during this exciting project. Sectra’s vendor neutral approach, standards-based communication, and experience integrating with third party specialised applications, will allow the use and encourage further development of small AI companies by bringing their tools into the common platform, and allowing them the use of all the training data available. All of which we believe is crucial to the successful implementation of AI technology to truly revolutionise diagnostic work,” says Jane Rendall, president of Sectra in the UK.
Dr Darren Treanor, a Pathologist at the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Digital pathology is a technology with a huge potential to improve healthcare. This new northern co-operative will allow us to use digital pathology to help patients across the region and provide a platform on which we will develop artificial intelligence tools for pathology diagnosis to be used around the world.”