Personalised Medicine Through Digital Pathology

Professor Sarah Coupland headshot
Professor Sarah Coupland

Professor Sarah Coupland, is a consultant histopathologist at Liverpool Clinical Labs and George Holt Chair of Pathology at the University of Liverpool.


Through increased advertising of digital pathology and its benefits, hopefully, we can entice people from medicine into pathology


"We will always have the human pathologist looking at either the glass slides or the digital slides or both, to come up with a diagnosis. I think (digital pathology) will improve the accuracy of diagnosis, particularly in terms of, for example, quantification of biomarkers, which is then important for steering management.

A classic example would be the assessment of oestrogen receptors or progesterone receptors. In breast cancers, digitising the slides and the quantification of the staining of these two receptors will be important in passing on that information within the reports and thereby influencing the management of that patient with breast cancer.

I think it (digital pathology) is an adjunct tool which the pathologist can use in their diagnostic reports."

Prodessor David Snead headshot
Professor David Snead

Professor David Snead is a Consultant Pathologist at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire and Professor of Pathology Practice at the University of Warwick


I see digital pathology as a key factor in improving patient outcomes


"First of all, it allows more than one person to examine the same slide. So, we can all look at a case and give an opinion. Whereas before, you would have to pass a slide from person to person. It becomes logistically quite difficult to get more than a couple of people to look at a slide, whereas now a whole case can be examined by three or four pathologists at the same time. You get a much more comprehensive view as to what the interpretation should be.

Bear in mind that it is still an interpretation. It’s not an answer that is written on the slide. You have to interpret what’s there and make sense of it. I cannot overestimate how important that is. It (digital pathology) gives you a much more complete view as to how the spectrum of opinion would vary for that particular case. And that’s important. It’s important because you can measure things more precisely than you could before.

Measuring things with a ruler, for example, can be done much more easily. Demarcating distances to section margins is much more precise than it used to be – and that’s a helpful advance. But more importantly, it allows us to measure biomarkers more precisely.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and these tools will help us provide results which are more reproducible between different laboratories."

Dr Tom Lund headshot
Dr Tom Lund

Dr Tom Lund is a scientific lead of the Integrated Pathology Unit at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.


Developing new technologies is really at the heart of AI and digital pathology


"Digital pathology and AI can combine to transform diagnostic testing by generating new complex biomarkers. Using AI and these biomarkers, we can look past what is established within (current) diagnostic medicine.

The future potential for AI and digital pathology is fantastic. The ability to predict biomarkers without any need for additional sequencing or any form of molecular testing is really where this technology is going to be implemented. And once that has happened, patient turnaround time will be much quicker with a more accurate diagnosis."

Professor Dr Muhammad Aslam headshot
Dr Muhammad Aslam

Dr Muhammad Aslam, Consultant Pathologist and Clinical Director for North Wales Diagnostic and Specialist Clinical Services.


When will the NHS be ready to adopt digital pathology? I think the answer is we are ready


"We have shown that consistently putting AI (into the process) gives a lot of benefits to the patient pathway. It’s quicker, more authoritative and standardised.

Digital pathology on its own has plus points. But when we pair it with AI, then actually it has huge benefits for our patients. We have proven consistently that we got a 13% increase in cancer pickup rate in the prostate by using AI.1

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.

The viewpoints shared in this article are from a range of interviews conducted by Roche Diagnostics UK & Ireland (data on file). The views shared in this article represent the views and opinions of the original speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Roche Diagnostics UK & Ireland.

Request a demo or let's talk

Interested to learn more, or to schedule a demo? Please complete this form, and a team member will be in touch.

Form Successfully Submitted!
Thank you for your submission!


  1. AI helping to diagnose cancer in Wales (no date) GOV.WALES. Available at: (Accessed: 14 February 2024).