Harris technology could supply digital pathology to U.S. military in Iraq

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Harris Healthcare Solutions is currently deploying digital pathology to the GreenZone in Baghdad, Iraq, which will permit doctors there to send scanned images of tissue instantly to Washington, D.C., for analysis by military pathologists.

The installation is part of an ongoing program of upgrades to the U.S. military’s telemedicine capabilities, according to Military Health.

“You get a diagnosis within hours rather than days,” said Paul Stone, a spokesman for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. “We’re trying to provide better consultation services to all of the major military hospitals,” he added.

Using digital scanners, computer networks and software, Harris’ technology creates high-resolution images of tissue samples and send them anywhere for analysis.

Harris said that it is among a number of companies hoping computers and software will soon replace the glass slides and microscopes.

With new digital technology, “you get instant magnification,” said Bart Harmon, MD, chief medical officer at Harris.    

Software developed by Harris allows multiple pathologists to study the same tissue sample at the same time — regardless of location, according to the Melbourne, Fla.-based company. According to the company, each pathologist sees the same slide on his or her computer screen, and when one pathologist magnifies a portion of it, the others will see the same magnification.

Harris also said that if one pathologist draws a circle around an area of particular interest, the others will see the circle in real time. Notes and other annotations can be attached to the slide and shared instantly by all of the viewers.

“What you see on the remote end is identical to what you see as the primary pathologist,” Harmon said.