. Digital solutions enhance process for diagnosing diseases including cancer
•85% of cancer confirmations in Saudi Arabia based on histopathology reports
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, and Al Borg Medical Laboratories, the largest chain of private laboratories in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation, today announced that Al Borg’s laboratory in Jeddah has adopted the Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution and fully digitized its diagnostic process for patient tissue examination.
“The digitization of pathological diagnostics provides an opportunity to radically change the way that complex diseases like cancer are diagnosed by improving collaboration among pathologists and enhancing their daily workflows,” said Marlon Thompson, General Manager of Digital & Computational Pathology at Philips. “With digital pathology and the application of smart software, we aim to help pathologists boost efficiency, with the goal of ensuring accurate and personalized diagnoses for patients.”
Pathology plays a critical role in disease detection, particularly with cancer diagnosis. Suspicious tissue samples are investigated to determine if the tissue is malignant and to guide treatment decisions.
“We believe that taking this step with Philips will accelerate the drive to support pathologists in the Middle East in their transition to digitized pathology workflows,” said Dr. Sameh Elsheikh, CEO of Al Borg Medical Laboratories. “We are proud for being early adopters of digital pathology in the Middle East, and one of the few labs around the world that are fully digitizing histopathology services. It will give us a competitive advantage in the market, as we see that this technology will become a necessity for laboratory groups in the near future.”
According to the Saudi Cancer registry reported in late 2017, 85% of cancer malignancy confirmations were based mainly on histopathology reports . Historically, each tissue slide needed to be prepared, analyzed through a microscope, diagnosed, reported, and archived. If a patient wanted to seek a second opinion, the patient needed to ship or hand deliver these slides to the second pathologist, which carried the risk of slides being lost or damaged in transport.
By digitizing its pathology workflow, Al Borg is able to provide specialist pathologists with remote access to review tissue samples with the goal of offering patients a precise and faster diagnosis. Al Borg’s laboratory in Jeddah is now able to fully digitize high volumes of tissue samples with Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution. Pathologists can then review, interpret, analyze and easily share these digital images from any Al Borg location and by more than one person at a time through the Image Management System, allowing pathologists to quickly consult a (sub-) specialist, or conveniently share images during multi-disciplinary team meetings without physically transporting tissue samples.
“We are committed to making a major contribution to excellence in patient care by incorporating modern techniques and management concepts inside the lab,” said Dr. Hisham Shams, Chief Medical Officer of Al Borg Laboratories. “Determining whether a patient has cancer and determining which kind of cancer it might be is a critical step in making sure patients get the right treatments and care. Implementing digital pathology will help us to advance care and provide excellent laboratory medicine services across the Middle East.”
Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution is available in various countries globally for primary diagnostic use. The solution received CE-IVD clearance in the Middle East in 2015. Additionally, it became the first – and currently only – digital pathology solution to be marketed for primary diagnostic use in the U.S. in April 2017 and in Japan in December 2017.
 Cancer Incidence Report Saudi Arabia, 2014