Project background


Despite the plurality of sources of information at a theoretical level, there is lack of a reliable learning web platform which will transmit the right way of thinking in Pathology and how to organize the clinicopathologic findings so as to reach a safe diagnosis.

HIPON is intended to teach medical students, training pathologists and professionals the right way of approaching the microscopic images of tissues and cells i.e. how to recognize the basic pattern of injury and how to correlate general patterns with underlying mechanisms of disease and clinical data. Too often, trainees in Pathology misunderstand the significance of their microscopic findings and cannot distinguish, even after 2 or 3 years of professional experience in the field, the most helpful ones for the correct diagnosis; it takes a considerable amount of time and real devotion to obtain this capacity and become ''experienced''. Though, mistakes in the beginning of a pathologist’s career can cost time, money or deterioration of human health. The prospect to transmit this professional experience through a learning platform / toolbox taking advantage of modern image technology is challenging and has not so far been available for the critical mass of pathologists. Our motive is to convey insight into pathology and professional experience to trainees so that they develop the practical skills needed in the immense field of modern pathology. Additionally, interested clinicians will gain considerable experience through the analysis of clinicopathologic correlations and understand the importance of providing the suitable clinical information to pathologists in order to achieve the correct pathologic diagnosis and maximize the benefit for patients.

In the suggested project, for each system/organ of the human body, the main normal architecture will be highlighted with appropriate brief comments; basic morphologic patterns of tissue injury will 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 pathologic data will be presented. The final diagnosis will be absolutely justified from the presented data. Texts will be as brief as possible while description of pathologic images will bear the appropriate analysis; modern visual technology will be most helpful. Various questions on additional images will appear at the end of each chapter. It must be made clear that this toolbox image base will be constructed in such a way so as to teach the learner how a pathologist thinks in order  to reach a final diagnosis; thus the learner will gain medical experience in correlating pathologic data to other clinicolaboratory information.

Image library will be constructed in such a way to teach the student how to think like a pathologist so as to reach a final diagnosis and thus gain medical experience in correlating pathologic data to other clinicolaboratory information. Therefore, image conversion will be performed in order to tile the microscope images and allow fast, over the web, viewing of very high resolution images.

This project’s proposal was structured approximately 3 years ago by the consortium’s scientists, as a result of the everyday need in their educational activities. Partners stressed the need to find a way to fund a suitable platform and the organization of the courses, in order to deliver a product adopted in their curricula, able to support their distant learning activities, which become a real need in the modern era of education, as the number of practitioners that would attend is increasing year by year. P1 had made some effort to provide web platform training, but difficulties in bandwidth made transfer of high resolution microscope images impossible.

“EU strategic framework for education and training” has clearly set four aims: Making lifelong learning and mobility a reality, improving the quality and efficiency of education and training, promoting equity and social cohesion, enhancing creativity and innovation, at all levels of education and training. HIPON fully addresses all EU aims and provides a step for further entrepreneurship in the fields of lifelong training.

Platforms for e-learning in medicine pre-exist, and few for histopathology as well. However, there is no updated platform specifically focused on histopathology which combines a virtual portfolio, a library of resources and case studies’ data banks along with e-learning modules, based on an organized curriculum. HIPON will be an autonomous multi-language e-learning system providing practical training for students and professionals. Further to the partners’ languages, it is scheduled to be easily translated in any other languages with no specific prerequisite programming knowledge.

The need for developing e-learning platforms was identified in an early stage by P1 throughout its long educational process and collaboration with the Hellenic Society of Pathology which gathers a significant mass of pathologists, indicating the gaps in the specific field of pathologists’ education and training. Such gaps have previously been communicated by P1 via postgraduate seminars of the Medical School and Hellenic Society of Pathology. P3 has been involved in the WHO-classification project, where interactive digitized microscopy sessions, digitized slides and e-learning is being used. P2 was the first to introduce image databank for students of pathology with computer-aided teaching, slide seminar cases available on-line during its traditional Saltykow Memorial Meeting, organized European Schools of Pathology on interactive approach, digitalised on-line slides and was involved in EUROPALS project of the EAPCP for online testing in pathology for residents/ young specialists. P4 and P5 provide the background knowledge and experience to deliver and support the development of the HIPON system in the most efficient way, responding to needs and goals earlier identified.

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