March 2018 – We report on how, despite limitations and challenges, real-time telepathology conferences have had a dramatic impact on diagnostic accuracy for direct patient care and have supported successful implementation of clinical trials in our setting.
Practical Successes in Telepathology Experiences in Africa
ND Montgomery, T Tomoka, R Krysiak, E Powers, M Mulenga, C Kampani, F Chimzimu, MK Owino, BM Dhungel, S Gopal, Y Fedoriw
Clinics in Laboratory Medicine
Full article available here.
> Anatomic pathology services are lacking in much of Africa.
> Telepathology infrastructure can help support local pathology services, clinical care, and research in this setting.
> The most important features of a successful program include consistent participation of team members and reliable Internet service.
Despite limitations and challenges, the telepathology conferences have had a dramatic impact on diagnostic accuracy for direct patient care and have supported successful implementation of clinical trials.10 These systems provide referral and educational opportunities for pathologists worldwide, and additionally can support quality control and improvement initiatives previously impossible in some regions of Africa. Furthermore, telepathology can make possible collaborative relationships and significant scientific opportunities for hospitals and academic institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. Groups interested in developing related processes in resource-limited settings have many options with respect to whole-slide imaging systems, digital microscopy, and conference format. However, we have found that the flexibility to deal with technical challenges and inclusion of clinicians and pathologists in weekly conferences is absolutely critical to program success.