The Rwanda Military Hospital (RMH) has received new telepathology technology that enables medical professionals to carry out pathology at a distance using telecommunications technology to facilitate the transfer of image-rich pathological data for diagnosis, education, and research. Named OMNYX VL4, the system consists of an indoor scanner, cameras, a microscope, and computers.
As revealed by RMH, the system scans and displays a patient’s results on a computer monitor. The images shown can then be shared online with other medical professionals within the hospital, as well as hospitals globally, for examination of the nature of the illness and how it can be handled.
“Testing and treating cancer is a big challenge globally, and here in Rwanda, we have a specific challenge of not having many specialised doctors in both testing and treatment of the disease. So, this new system comes as a way of helping us to test and diagnose cancer faster as we communicate among us so that we can be able to administer immediate treatment that will give patients more chances to recover,” said Lt Col Fabien Ntaganda, the head of laboratory services at RMH.
The new technology is capable of testing all types of cancers both in children and adults, and the doctors will be able to provide the diagnosis and a therapeutic decision within five days as opposed to the two weeks it has been taking. The hospital has partnered with doctors in America, who will work remotely receiving the images and responding within 24 hours.
“In the new system the images appear on a computer screen and the doctors will not have to strain themselves looking into the microscope,” Ntaganda said.
As revealed by RMH, other East African countries – including Uganda and Tanzania – are looking to roll out the technology soon.