Digital Pathology Thought Leader Talk

Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez headshot
Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez

Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez is a leader in molecular and digital pathology. Alongside his role as professor of Integrated Pathology at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), he’s a Clinical Professor at Queen’s University Belfast. Professor Salto-Tellez is the author or co-author of over 300 peer-reviewed articles.1 He is currently a member of the Integrated Pathology Unit, where he is leading a programme to digitise the diagnostic histopathology service at The Royal Marsden.

Digital pathology will help patients lead longer and better lives, believes Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez. He describes why implementing digital pathology could improve the pathology workflow, help the NHS to deliver services and improve patient outcomes. Professor Salto-Tellez is confident that digitisation will be a core part of the laboratory of the future.


The potential benefits for the NHS through digitisation are phenomenal

Pathologist in lab with slide
How can digital pathology help the NHS tackle its current challenges?

"I think digital pathology can be transformational in many ways. If we adopt digital pathology, we know that we can have more efficient services and we can improve our turnaround time for the vast majority of the samples that we analyse.

The collaboration and consultation between pathologists are significantly better because of the possibility of remote testing and remote working. That brings a totally new dimension to the way we organise our services. We are hoping that that will allow us to retain talent within NHS pathology.

We are beginning to see that the diagnosis delivered by digital pathology could be better. In the long term, it could be much more affordable.

In general, the potential benefits for the NHS through digitisation are phenomenal.

Imagine a future in which digital pathology tools, artificial intelligence tools and new algorithms are beginning to be brought into diagnostics. The present is already very good. The future is just fantastic."

How do you feel that digital pathology will translate into patient benefits?

"The benefit to patients is fundamental at many levels. Diagnosis can be made more promptly, and that diagnosis is going to be more comprehensive because we are going to be bringing together our digital analysis with other forms of diagnostics.

I think it’s going to bring our patients longer lives and better lives."

Patient with a doctor
patient in hospital with doctor
What advice would you give to organisations interested in digital pathology?

"(Digital pathology) is a process that, the sooner you start, the earlier you're going to get into your desired outcome.

The other aspect which I think is fundamental is that digitisation has monetary advantages, but also very strong, non-monetary advantages to improve health care.

I think it is the latter that we really need to make a clear point so that our leaders understand that the utilisation should happen and should happen as soon as possible."

Experience the future of digital pathology with Roche

Digital pathology is a flexible solution that benefits pathologists, lab managers, NHS trusts and patients. Lab-ready digital systems can streamline processes, optimise resources, and support the shift to flexible working.

The Roche digital pathology solution combines advanced diagnostic hardware and software with our clinical expertise to accelerate your organisation’s digital journey.

Our interoperable digital pathology solution seamlessly integrates into existing workflows, delivering immediate benefits and long-term impact. We can act as a  digital pathology partner, providing expertise, advice and support to embed change and unlock benefits.

This Q&A is taken from a more extended interview with Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez conducted by Roche Diagnostics UK & Ireland (data on file). The views shared in this article represent the views and opinions of the original speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of Roche Diagnostics UK & Ireland.

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  1. Biomedical Research Centre for Cancer. (2024). Available at: [Accessed: 14 February 2024]