The prospect to transmit professional experience of correlating pathologic patterns of tissues and cells with underlying disease mechanisms and clinical data through an ICT based learning environment taking advantage of modern image technology is challenging and not yet attempted by pathologists.
E-modules on HistoPathology: a valuable online tool for students, researchers and professionals (HIPON) is designed to be developed on the basis of this motive: to convey the partnership’s insight into pathology and their professional experience to trainees so that they develop the practical skills needed in the immense field of modern pathology, without borders of languages, costs, technical skills or data. The basic concept underlying HIPON’s methodology is to follow mixed learning pathways, supported by a rich variety of components of the ICT System (virtual portfolio, e-modules, online game, histo-book) and a mass amount of case data in order to provide practical experience, bridging essentially the worlds of education and work.
HIPON is considered a significant platform for multinational training & vocational activities, providing flexibility to both instructors to remotely prepare courses and students/ pathologists to attend pre and after course activities. It activates 5 European partners, marks contribution from Third Countries and links the project to at least 6 associated partners. The HIPON platform and the type of courses do not present with a prior implementation (the project consortium has made specific competition research) neither for distant learning nor even for laboratory physical presence training. Expertise from the fields of histopathology, ICT, distant learning and software solutions from 5 European countries ensures the efficient implementation of the project, spanning in a significant European coverage.
Each partner holds a key role in the project realization and a great interest in testing and introducing HIPON in the educational & vocational process. Based on the expertise and available infrastructure, the consortium has broken down tasks accordingly and has allocated respective tasks and responsibilities. However, specific activities (such as promotion activities and case study testing) which indicate the trans-national nature of HIPON are equally tasked to all. It is noted that none of the HIPON beneficiaries is unilaterally capable of delivering all aspects of the project, gather relevant case studies, expertise and/or data and samples. HIPON foresees the creation of a large image databank free for use and initially available to 13 institutions throughout the world.
In HIPON, for each system/organ of the human body, the main normal architecture will be highlighted with appropriate brief comments; the basic morphologic patterns of tissue injury will then be analyzed with multiple images. A complementary number of figures narrowing the differential diagnosis will follow and, finally, an educational clinical scenario illustrating the correlation between the pathologic data will be presented without any irrelevant clinical details. The final diagnosis will be absolutely justified from the data provided by HIPON (both imagery & gradual didactic of thinking/correlation process). The learner does not receive just a series of images of tissues; the essence is the analytical thought behind images, the process to reach diagnosis without spending years of examining real samples.
Primary goal of HIPON
• Transfer medical experience in diagnostic practical issues of histopathology to medical students, trainees in Pathology and interested clinicians, in order to assist learners gain practical insight of the theoretical background they are traditionally taught, recognize basic patterns of injury and correlate patterns with underlying mechanisms of disease and clinical data.
Secondary goals of HIPON
• Provide an innovative ICT system combining resources (virtual photo gallery and bibliography thematically divided), glossary, e-modules and multimedia online games (with images, video, speech) which will attract the learner for all study parts.
• Generate multilingual educational product for the area of histopathology in order to be exploited by all educational sectors (public and private), either in distant learning process or physical teaching process, for students and graduates, beginner residents and professionals in pursuit of vocational training.
• Strengthen European cooperation of the histopathology community via the ‘histo-book’, a social media component where all parties involved in histopathology research, study and practice will be able to communicate via a spatially referenced ‘histo-book’.
• Produce a reliable data bank of real case studies (deriving from real hospital incidents) with images and material that is not easy for all European institutes to afford. Especially, the virtual microscope allows an in-depth analysis, without the expense of the microscope.
HIPON’s multilingual advantage is the basis for a pan-European educational product. Five languages in the beginning (English, Greek, Croatian, Dutch and Macedonian) will attract more than 400 users, while expanding HIPON in other languages, primarily via the HIPON Associated Partners, will be an easy process to be realized by histopathologists. This learning package working on a common basis for all countries, allows students and beginner residents on one hand to get equal chances to innovative ICT learning material and, on the other hand, socialize in the context of job searching and recruitment in any European country.