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Philips, NEC collaborate on cancer-detecting imaging systems

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:digital processing? medicine? pathology slide scanner? NEC e-Pathologist system?

In a bid to inch closer to digital processing in medicine, NEC Corp. and Royal Philips Electronics have agreed to combine their respective digital image scanning and analysis systems for use in automating the detection of certain cancers. The collaboration is deemed timely and appropriate, as the two firms tested their separate systems at the same hospital.

Under the deal, the two companies will develop and sell a combined system initially targeted at grading tissue samples for breast and prostate cancer. Results from the collaboration are expected by the end of the year.

Philips' high-throughput pathology slide scanner uses a continuous auto-focus technology that tracks height variations in the tissue surface over horizontal distances as short as 30 microns to capture a high-definition full-slide image in less than 1min. It is commercially available in Europe for research purposes.

NEC's e-Pathologist Cancer Diagnosis Assistance System uses computer algorithms to automatically detect regions of interest in tissues and cells, and make quantitative measurements of prepared tissue samples. NEC tested the system with SRL Inc., a large lab test center in Japan, for biopsy of stomach cancer. The e-Pathologist system is already available in Japan for use in detecting stomach and breast cancer.

Such digital systems are expected to speed the detection and increase the accuracy of identifying cancer sub-types.

"We are pleased to have been involved in the development of the Philips high-throughput scanner and the NEC e-Pathologist system, and look forward to the next phase of their development," said David Louis, chief of pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital that tested both companies' systems.

- Rick Merritt
??EE Times

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