Hospital pathologist commended for innovation

A consultant pathologist from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has been shortlisted for this year’s Health Enterprise East Innovation Awards after finding a way to beam images directly from the microscope to clinicians working with skin cancer patients.

Dr Laszlo Igali has introduced a web cam and software to convey images through the hospital’s own computer network. It means tissue samples can be examined in the pathology lab at the Cotman Centre and viewed simultaneously by dermatology consultants at NNUH, saving valuable time for both clinicians and patients.

The new system is used in conjunction with the new Mohs equipment, which was donated recently by the Big C cancer charity.

Once the skin samples have been removed by the clinician and processed in the laboratory, the microscopic images are analysed and then beamed back to the hospital, allowing the Mohs consultant to map any residual tumour and plan further excision. The process is repeated until all traces of cancer have been removed.

Dr Igali, who has a personal interest in photography and digital technology, is delighted that his innovation has been shortlisted for the HEE Awards. “The key to diagnosis is communication between pathology consultants and clinicians,” he said. “This system speeds up the process and allows us to discuss cases when we are working at separate sites. If it can work here then it can work in many other hospitals where the lab is in a different location from the hospital.”

The winners of the HEE Innovations Awards will be announced at an awards dinner at the American Air Museum, Duxford, in May.

Notes for editors

One of the first patients to benefit from Mohs surgery at NNUH was Janice Hancock, from Hethersett, who had a basal skin carcinoma removed, followed by plastic surgery to create a new rim for the top of her nostril.

Dermatology consultant Dr Jennifer Garioch explained: The Mohs technique is especially suited to tumours on the face where the treatment and repair of the skin is especially delicate. We are grateful to the Big C charity for their generous donation.”

Thursday 16th of April 2009 04:00:41 PM