Digitization and subsequent sharing of slides with remote parties enables and facilitates numerous processes and workflows in pathology, eventually having the potential to contribute to an improved healthcare. For example, the provision of accurate and timely diagnoses is a key element of good and successful healthcare. However, the necessary technical infrastructure as well as human resources are often not available in developing countries.
Thus, the Italian non-governmental organization “Patologi Oltre Frontiera” (APOF) aims at sustainably intervening locally via different initiatives such as training of local staff, implementing technical and administrative procedures, providing technical equipment, and installing telemedicine workstations.
Support for the creation of a pathology service in the Republic of Djibouti
The telepathology use case presented below has been established in collaboration with WorldConnex for Patologi Oltre Frontiera as part of the Horn of Africa Project.
As part of their Horn of Africa Project, APOF implemented a telepathology service at two hospitals in Djibouti. This telepathology service is essentially based on (i) the Microvisioneer manualWSI slide scanning software and (ii) the Microvisioneer InstaSlide telemicroscopy software:
To digitize microscopy slides, two complete systems for manual scanning of cytology and histology slides with the Microvisioneer manualWSI software were installed at two hospitals in Djibouti.
In a second step, the digital whole slide images are supposed to be shared with remote pathologists in Italy to enable the provision of fast diagnoses. Therefore, a LAN Edition of the Microvisioneer InstaSlide telemicroscopy software was installed, integrated in WaidX, the global telecommunication network for telemedicine provided by WorldConnex, allowing instant and reliable slide sharing.
On-site impressions from the telepathology workstation at the Hopital De Balbala in Djibouti.
(A): Manual Slide Scanning with the Microvisioneer manualWSI software solution.
(B): Slide sharing with the Microvisioneer InstaSlide telemicroscopy solution integrated in the WaidX telecommunication network from WorldConnex.
Images provided by courtesy of APOF and Mr. Matteo Botteghi from WorldConnex.
Impressive Success - Improved Patient Healthcare
One of the two hospital sites in Djibouti where the telepathology service has been implemented in November 2019 is the Omar Hassan Al Bachir Military Hospital. The impact has been impressive so far, underlined by the following numbers elaborated for the Military Hospital:
-90% cost per examination at the Military Hospital
Reduction of diagnosis time from up to 3 months to a few days only
Increase of quality in care and services
“With the telepathology service created with the solutions of Microvisioneer and WorldConnex, it is now possible to carry out anatomopathological diagnoses in a routine and economical way, with a drastic improvement in the diffusion of diagnosis and treatment for the population of Djibouti. A heartfelt thanks to our project partners!“
Dr. Miriam Martinelli, Health planning expert and project manager for Djibouti hospitals
Microvisioneer thanks the project partners APOF, WorldConnex, the Hopital De Balbala "Cheiko", and the Hopital Militaire de Djibouti, for their support and contributions.
Further, the local project manager Dr. Miriam Martinelli and the hospital directors Dr. Madian Mohamed Said and Dr. Moussa Ibrahim Sougueh are gratefully acknowledged.
For more information on APOF and WorldConnex, visit the following websites:
APOF - Patologi oltre Frontiera:
English website: https://www.apof.eu/en-home.html
General website: https://www.worldconnex.com/
Article and video about the telepathology service at the Military Hospital in Djibouti: