Whole Slide Imaging: Challenges in getting “Digital Ready”, Dunedin’s Experience; Dr Michael Lau

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Digital pathology includes the acquisition, management, sharing and interpretation of pathology information (including slides and data) in a digital environment (Royal College of Pathologists). One part of Digital pathology is the transition from light microscopy to Whole Slide Imaging for primary diagnosis. Awanui Laboratories has begun this process and Dunedin was selected as the pilot laboratory before rolling out across other histology departments in this network. During this assessment, there are technical (grossing, embedding etc.), information technology (IT) and pathologist challenges that need consideration. An overview of lessons learned during this process will be shared in this presentation.

Speaker Biography:

Michael earned his MB ChB from the University of Otago in 1992 and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2005. He’s a Consultant Anatomic Pathologist at Awanui Laboratories, specializing in various pathologies including thoracic, gastrointestinal, and renal.

Since 2021, Michael leads Te Aho o Te Kahu’s Structured Cancer Reporting project, focusing on establishing standardized reporting protocols, and also plays an advisory role in their development across different tumour types. He’s particularly involved in the field of oncology biomarkers and PD-L1 scoring.

He contributed to the NZ Bowel Screening Histology Data Standard and co-authored the Pathology curriculum for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, where he also served as an examiner. Currently, Michael heads the Digital Pathology project at Awanui, focusing on Whole Slide Imaging and data management.

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