Many pathology labs in the NHS are moving to digital processes that typically revolve around those that involve imaging of some sort (whole slide imaging for example) but could also include next-generation sequencing. The processes are disruptive in the way that they are impacting pathology workflows but also regarding the IT requirements of managing the resulting data.

Eliminate the pain

Digital pathology managers are looking to NHS IM&T managers to help them solve these big data storage and management issues. IT are in-turn looking at a range of possible solutions including doing it in-house using expanded local infrastructure, using cloud-based services like Amazon Glacier (or S3), or Google Nearline. An alternative option is to use a specialist long-term data storage and archive provider that offers a managed service designed from the ground up to eliminate all the pain of securing very large volumes of data for very long periods of time.

Specialist providers of long-term managed data storage services deliver many benefits to digital pathology managers, including the delivery of long-term data security and trustworthiness. They also help NHS IM&T managers mitigate the challenges of local infrastructure provision and resource usage (and solve their backup problem). For CFOs, managed data storage services provide predictable costs over the entire contract term, along with the flexibility of CapEx or OpEx (or both) purchasing models.

Disruptive digital pathology workflows

Digitised pathology practices and workflows are not exactly new, but they are disruptive and many pathologists remain to be convinced that they are adding value to existing manual, human-led processes. In some cases these fears are valid and, conversely, the benefits of at least moving in the direction of digitised workflows can, and will, bring enormous benefits and open up new practices that were simply not possible in the manual / analogue world.

To learn more about how straightforward it is to reap the benefits of efficient digital pathology data management, you can download our new White Paper: Managing Big Data – Reaping the Rewards. In the paper we detail the issues and challenges that are being faced by digital pathology labs when implementing technologies like whole slide imaging and we highlight what a digital pathology data storage strategy needs to include.