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Coventry Scientists Validate Digital Pathology for Routine Clinical Practice

Panoramic shot high res 300 dpi (4)A new study has shown that pathologists are just as effective at making a confident diagnosis digitally using a virtual slide with advanced pathology software as using a microscope for routine practice. Dr. David Snead and his team at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) examined more than 10,000 slides, both by microscope and by digital imaging. They concluded that diagnostic confidence is equivalent for routine practice with the Omnyx® Precision Solution™ but, the digital system can give them an operating advantage today and in the future1.

Presenting the study at Global Engage’s 2nd Digital Pathology Congress on December 3rd, Dr. David Snead, Consultant Histopathologist and Clinical Service Lead for CWPS and UHCW NHS, said, “I am delighted that University Hospital Coventry has led this ground breaking study.”

“This provides even greater evidence that digital pathology really works, and works well. The introduction of digital pathology has fantastic potential benefits for patients; we can expect to be able to read samples more quickly than before.”

“The big advantage is that we can use the computer to easily review the image and its data,” added Snead. “For some patients, this additional information may change how their disease is managed.”

In 2012, 14.1 million adults worldwide were diagnosed with cancer, accounting for 8.2 million deaths. That rate is expected to increase by 70% globally in the next two decades in the wake of an aging population.2

Dr. David Snead.

Dr. David Snead.

Anyone facing cancer should have access to the highest quality diagnosis and subsequently the most appropriate treatment options.   Pathology services are crucial for this and should themselves be underpinned by evidence based care, advanced computer aided diagnosis, web based pathologist collaboration and integrated care.

With the Omnyx Precision Solution, glass slides are scanned in high resolution and displayed by an advanced software program which aids the pathologist in observing differences in cells. Computer algorithms can support the pathologist in making accurate observations on many aspects of cancer diagnosis, helping him/her to make sound decisions when it comes to referring patients for treatment.

UHCW is the first hospital Trust in the UK to introduce this kind of innovation to its routine practice, meaning it is already benefitting patients.

Dr. Snead is now working with the world-class team of computer scientists lead by Professor Nasir Rajpoot at the University of Warwick to develop the next generation of image analytics to use with this technology.



  1. Histopathology  “Validation of digital pathology imaging for primary histopathological diagnosis” –
  2. American Cancer Society. Accessed May 8, 2015.
  3. World Health Organization. Accessed June 5, 2015.

The study referenced in this article, along with the establishment of the Centre of Excellence for Digital Pathology at UHCW was supported by funding from Omnyx, LLC.


In the European Union, the Omnyx® Precision Solution™ is CE Marked under the European Union’s ‘In Vitro Diagnostics Directive’ for in vitro diagnostic use with the VL4 and VL120 scanners, and Digital Pathology Software (DPS).

In Canada, the Omnyx Precision Solution is licensed by Health Canada for in vitro diagnostic use with the VL4 and VL120 scanners, and DPS software.

In the United States, the Omnyx Precision Solution, consisting of the DPS and VL4 Scanner, is cleared by the US Food & Drug Administration for in vitro diagnostic use for Manual Read of the Digital HER2 Application. In the United States, the Omnyx VL120 scanner is for research use only.

More Information

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

Omnyx, LLC

Driving Advances in Cancer Diagnostics: First Digital Pathology Center of Excellence in the UK