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Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program                                                            
Phase 3 (2007 Deadline)

Establishment of an Integrated Telepathology, Pathology Imaging, and
Immunohistochemistry Facility in Pakistan  

David C. Wilbur and Yukako Yagi, The Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Imtiaz Ahmad Qureshi, Holy Family Hospital, Rawalpindi
Pakistani Funding (MoST):  $143,000 (not yet paid)
US Funding (State):   $164,500
Project Dates on US Side:  July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2012

Project Overview

This project seeks to establish a modern digital pathology facility at Holy Family Hospital (HFH) in Rawalpindi, a major Pakistani tertiary care and teaching center. The facility will consist of three main components: (1) pathology imaging, including automated, high-speed, high-resolution digitization of pathology slides; (2) telepathology, including sophisticated pathology training and reporting tools, image analysis, and the near real-time sharing of pathology cases and consultations; and (3) immunohistochemistry, a mainstream molecular tool for histological diagnosis in the West that is not readily available in Pakistani public-sector teaching hospitals. This facility will be linked through its telepathology and imaging components to the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Through these components, MGH staff will be able to provide a high degree of near real-time technical support and training for the facility itself, sophisticated pathology training materials to trainees, and physician-to-physician consultation between the two hospitals.

Major Results

  • Provided technical training in digital pathology and pathology practice to a Pakistani physician
  • Established linkages between pathologists in HFH and MGH, including weekly teleconference consultations
  • Donated whole slide image scanner and accessories to HFH to facilitate telepathology efforts

Quarterly Update

A joint paper on the challenges of establishing a digital pathology facility in Pakistan was presented at the 11th European Congress on Telepathology and 5th International Congress on Virtual Microscopy in Venice, Italy, June 6-9, 2012. Another paper on the project has been submitted to the International Academy of Pathology for presentation at its October 2012 conference in South Africa. Although the project was completed as of June 30, the participants remain in regular contact for joint case consultations, which will be enhanced once the new whole slide image scanner recently shipped to Pakistan is installed by the vendor in September 2012. In addition to continuing the collaboration with MGH, Dr. Qureshi plans to introduce this low-cost and easy-to-operate system to other pathologists at HFH and other Pakistani healthcare institutions. 
Progress Report Summaries

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