New digital pathology technology

Project Status: 

The CSIR has joined forces with the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) to develop digital pathology technology to help train experts remotely and to extend these services to all corners of South Africa.

To help train and support pathologists country-wide, a new digital pathology technology has been developed. The CSIR joined forces with the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) to develop a national digital pathology database containing 104 medical case studies focusing on South Africa's unique disease burden.

For each case study, clinical history, blood counts and digital morphology images were captured. More than 1 200 digital images with detailed annotations have been captured in the database . The database focuses on South Africa’s unique disease burden, for example by depicting the effect of HIV and tuberculosis on the microscopic appearance of blood samples.

The database facilitates remote training of pathologists, thereby increasing the number of skilled staff to improve the number and accuracy of diagnoses in remote and under-resourced areas. A reduced need for referrals and shorter turnaround times for diagnoses will have a positive impact on the health of South Africans.


National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS)



Contact Person

Pieter Roux

Key Concept

The science of the causes and effects of diseases, specifically the branch of medicine that focuses on the laboratory examination of samples of body tissue for diagnostic or forensic purposes.

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