Quality Coordination Centre

NPIC Quality Co-ordination Centre (QCC) 
NPIC’s Quality Co-ordination Centre (QCC) aims to understand and quantify the variations in digital pathology images and enhance international quality standards. The QCC aims to provide resources to encourage high tissue-to-image fidelity and production of high-quality digital pathology image datasets. We also want to encourage good practice in the digital pathology community and to drive the quality improvement cycle in digital pathology.

Assessing whole slide imaging (WSI) quality 
Whole slide imaging (WSI) is a relatively new technology, with quality metrics not yet fully defined. Factors in scanning can lead to variation in image quality. These can accrue over the digitising process, resulting in the production of poorer image datasets. NPIC’s QCC seeks to introduce quality checks at these stages to reduce image variability, deliver improvements and ensure consistent quality between facilities.  We also want to understand the landscape of WSI quality as it currently exists and to share this information within our community.  

AI Applications 
Variation has unknown effects on data for image processing and AI applications. Whilst some believe deep learning will overcome image variability, if data is compromised or missing it can be difficult to compensate afterwards.

Test Tools 
We are developing physical test tools to measure variability in the WSI pathway. These can also provide a range of image standards that can help achieve a new higher standard and reduced variation for the future of image quality in digital pathology.

For this reason, it is vital variation in images is studied to help AI developers assess its impacts and unlock digital pathology’s potential for faster and more accurate diagnosis. 

Services, Ongoing Opportunities and Resources 
QCC Tools and Resources – National Pathology Imaging Co-operative (npic.ac.uk)

If you have any questions or are interested in our quality work in digital pathology please get in touch. 

Email: leedsth-tr.digipathqcc@nhs.net  
Telephone: 0113 206 6198 

Quality Coordination Centre 
National Pathology Imaging Co-operative  
Level 2, The Sir Robert Ogden Centre  
St James’s University Hospital 
Beckett Street  
LS9 7TF  

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