Dr. Kishore Gopalakrishnan – MedPath Clinical Director

I entered the world of digital pathology in 2015, a solid 15 years after I had first looked down the eyepieces of a pathology microscope. It began, as these things usually do, by being approached by an enthusiastic pathologist colleague at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, keen to test a digital pathology reporting system and to attempt to study if it could replace a microscope.

Back then, it felt almost blasphemous, and I remember saying I’d assist with the study, but was certain the digital images wouldn’t be good enough! Jump ahead six months, and I was practically urging him to make sure digital pathology stuck around. I was really hoping the study results would back me up, and luckily, they did. So, I’ve been a digital histopathologist ever since!

I began working remotely from the department for one day a week, and the home setup and testing showed that this was feasible. When the pandemic began, the same digital setup was implemented for all pathologists in the department. This allowed histopathology to function well, even during periods of home isolation enforced by contact tracing.

Remote reporting through digital telepathology holds the potential to enhance productivity and support cancer waiting times. Commuting time is no longer a concern, and time is saved by not having to wait at home for the boiler engineer or take care of sick children. Prolonged use of microscopes is also linked to musculoskeletal disorders in the neck, back and upper extremities. While sitting in front of computer screens and using a keyboard and mouse for extended periods can also lead to certain musculoskeletal disorders, there are more ergonomic options available to counter these issues.

In my current role as Clinical Director for MedPath, I have been fortunate enough to contribute to the development of a new resilient, clinically-led histopathology reporting service. We provide sub-specialist reporting and this service offers flexible solutions to address NHS backlogs and routine reporting needs. Book your free no-obligation consultation to find out more.