Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A giant touchscreen computer for junior doctors and medical students to study tumours in fine detail is the latest weapon in the battle against cancer at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

Dr Clare Verrill taught the first session to histopathology registrars using the new giant touchscreen
Dr Clare Verrill taught the first session to histopathology registrars using the new giant touchscreen

Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre has funded the 55-inch wide screen for the teaching of histopathology speciality trainees and medical students from the University of Oxford and the 500 researchers and clinicians that make up the Oxford Centre.

It allows users to “pinch and pull images” to identify the features of tumours that could predict their prognosis.

Until now, junior doctors and medical students have had to use microscopes linked to other microscopes used by teachers.

With the new technology, users can manipulate images – which are sent to the hospital pathology department - by zooming in and out and moving and rotating the images.

It is hoped the technology will improve the teaching of junior doctors and medical students so they can provide the best possible cancer diagnosis to patients.

The £25,780 computer has been funded by the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre and draws on more than 400 scanned images from Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust patients.

The first session took place on February 23 for urological pathology to prepare histopathology registrars for upcoming fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists’ exams.

Having this digital screen enables a new and exciting way of teaching where learners and teachers are able to interact with the images. - Dr Clare Verrill

Dr Clare Verrill, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Pathology at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, who taught the first session, said: 'Having this digital screen, enables a new and exciting way of teaching where learners and teachers are able to interact with the images and makes for stimulating and interesting discussions.

'With an increasing trend for use of digital pathology images for routine diagnostics as well as research, histopathology registrars will be better equipped for modern pathology practice.'

Histopathology speciality trainee Dr Andrew Smith said: “Histopathology training is driven by practical experience - you have to look at a lot of cases to learn how to recognise tumours for what they are.  

“Having access to cases digitally and in high resolution means you can learn from a case even when the slides for that case are not available in the department.

“I think using interactive technology in this way also makes the subject more accessible.  Hopefully it will inspire more medical students and junior doctors to pursue a career in histopathology.”

Dr Claire Bloomfield, Strategic Planning Lead at the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre, said: 'Supporting our future leaders in cancer diagnostic is a key aim for the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre.

'Effective, detailed diagnosis is a key foundation in our vision of making cancer therapies more targeted to individual patients.'

Dr Áine McCarthy, Cancer Research UK’s science information officer, said: 'This technology offers a unique way for junior doctors and medical students to study the art of histopathology, a hugely important area of medicine.

'By using state of the art technology, we’re offering these doctors and students better training which will benefit both them and patients in the future.'

Press release courtesy of Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

 

Watch Dr Clare Verrill on BBC Oxford News demonstrating how to analyse a tumour using the giant touchscreen computer. The clip was aired on 26 February 2016.

Similar stories

Catherine Lovegrove wins Best Poster Prize at BAUS Endourology Meeting

Congratulations to Miss Catherine Lovegrove from the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences on winning the Best Poster Prize at the 2022 British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS) Endourology Section Annual Meeting.

Two Oxford surgeons elected in the 2022 RCSEd Council and Trainee Elections

Congratulations to Miss Katie Hurst and Mr Michael Silva who were elected in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) 2022 Council and Trainee Elections.

Study reveals that bone changes energy requirements of cancer cells to promote growth and survival

Interrogating metabolic cross-talk in the tumour-bone microenvironment, new research from the Edwards Group shows how the pentose phosphate pathway contributes to prostate cancer bone metastasis.

Blog posts

Oxford MedSci goes silver: 10 Years of Athena SWAN

The Medical Sciences Division is celebrating 10 years since its first Athena Swan bronze application, and the first year in which all 16 of its departments have achieved a silver award. The silver award recognises commitment to gender equality, understanding culture and context, and more. Read about our department’s hard work and innovation.

Lights, camera, action! My journey into video production

Dr Hannah McGivern provides a 'behind-the-scenes' account of her experience producing the video 'Journey of a QUOD Sample: Donating to Transplant Research', supported by the funds from the University of Oxford Public Engagement with Research (PER) Seed Fund.

Mentoring in practice

NDS has launched a new, interdepartmental mentoring scheme called RECOGNISE. In this podcast, Gemma Horbatowski (HR Advisor) interviews Monica Dolton (Programme Manager and Research Project Manager) about her experiences of mentor-mentee relationships.