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Clinisys and mTuitive unveil partnership at Digital Pathology and AI Congress

The integration of the xPert synoptic reporting solution with the WinPath Enterprise laboratory information system and the VUE diagnostic console can transform the creation of reports and returns.

(This was originally posted on Clinisys' blog)

Clinisys has formed a partnership with mTuitive and integrated its xPert™ reporting solution with the WinPath Enterprise laboratory information system and VUE diagnostic console. But what does this mean for pathologists looking to streamline the creation of reports and data returns?

Simon Hurst, VP, global strategic partnerships and business development, and Colin Murphy, chief executive of mTuitive, explain ahead of demonstrating xPert’s integration and workflow at this week’s Digital Pathology and AI Congress in London.

What problem is the partnership looking to solve? Simon: “There are a number of aspects to this. First of all, we all know that there is a huge disparity between the requirement for cellular pathology and the histopathologists available to meet it.

“That is putting a huge focus on digitisation, to make the best use of the resource available, and to enable people to work remotely, if that is what they want to do. We see synoptic reporting (reporting specific data elements in a specific format within a surgical pathology report) as fitting within the digital pathology bundle that we need to provide to customers looking to address those challenges.

“At the same time, there is a best practice and a compliance aspect to this. The Royal College of Pathologists sets standards for pathology reports and the NHS wants to collect the Cancer Outcomes and Services Data set (COSD) for the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) and others; and that’s complex.”

Aren’t there other COSD solutions? Colin: “There are other ways to do COSD, but it’s a very hard thing to do well. mTuitive is the leading provider of structured reporting worldwide. We have done it with lots of different standards and reporting regimes; and it’s hard because they change all the time.

“In the NHS, for example, the brilliant people at the RCPath define what you should be doing in terms of writing reports for oncologists. But NCRAS has different standards, because clinical questions and research questions are different.

“Then, just to complicate matters, the RCPath datasets change periodically as does the COSD coding schema. So, if organisations try to do this themselves, they’ll need a team to keep on top of the updates from two authorities, marry the inconsistencies in the standards, put them into their reporting environment, test the reporting protocols, and to test the outputs to NHS Digital. It’s a massive headache. Which we take care of.”

Simon: “That was one of the big drivers for forming this partnership. There are companies offering form builders that pathology providers can use to create forms for pathologists to fill in. But we fully understood the challenges and knew that the limitations that this would introduce would be unacceptable. Anybody can create a form; what’s hard is making sure that it’s the right form, that it contains all the right data, and that data can be automatically uploaded to the COSD portal.”

What other benefits does mTuitive offer? Colin: “Picking up on Simon’s point, xPert is built around checklists, and there’s a lot of logic that goes into them. We take the standards we have been talking about and we put them into xPert and add our secret sauce. We get the results reviewed by the protocol authors and then create a release to send out as a ‘gold standard’ checklist. Some customers will want customisations, which we can handle.

“All that means that when a pathologist goes into xPert, they can pick a checklist for a particular tumour, and it will auto-fill a lot of the information that they need, which saves a lot of time. And, of course, it will be included in a format that means it can be sent back to external data collectors automatically.”

How is xPert integrated into Clinisys’ products? Simon: “We have integrated xPert into WinPath Enterprise, so pathologists can launch it from the LIMS. They use it to create a formatted, synoptic report, as Colin has described, and that’s written back to the LIMS. We have also integrated xPert into our VUE diagnostic console, which enables clinicians to view pathology reports alongside critical information from the electronic patient record and other systems.

“At the moment, we know that pathologists spend a lot of time logging out of one system and into another to do their jobs, and the working environment is very disaggregated. The combination of WinPath Enterprise, xPert, and VUE, simplifies the workflow and enables pathologists to work off a single console. That will be another big time saving, and support that drive to make the best use of histopathologists’ time.

“If people are going to be working from home, being able to connect remotely and use this technology outside the laboratory, and being able to focus on contributing their expertise to the clinical process, rather than on routine form filling, is going to be essential.”

Has this approach been proved in the NHS? Simon: “It has. Colin and his team had a partnership in place with Sunquest in the US, which had a customer at a trust in the north of England. mTuitive was integrating with its LIMS when Sunquest became part of Clinisys, and the trust is now moving to WinPath Enterprise, so it has been validated in an NHS context. Colin: “We’re very excited to have this partnership in place. Structured data, and using structured data, to improve the reporting process is what we do. It’s complex, and xPert makes it much, much easier. So, we want as many pathologists to benefit as possible.”

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