i-Path Diagnostics in US export breakthrough

Nov 09, 2009

i-Path Diagnostics Ltd, the Belfast-based pioneer in virtual microscopy, has won its first business in the huge US marketplace.

The company, which has taken part in Invest Northern Ireland trade missions to the US and other international markets, is providing its revolutionary software for diagnostic pathology to researchers at Michigan State University.

The company, a Queen’s University spin-out which has received funding support from Crescent Capital, Invest NI and QUBIS, is to work with researchers at the US University’s veterinary school on a major project involving the creation of a digital catalogue of over 1,000 slides on animal cancers.

i-Path’s innovative technology will enable researchers to access the catalogue on-line at any time from any location.

i-Path has also received approaches from other major US Universities about its unique diagnostic technology, especially its novel software, PathXL. This web-based software enables glass slides used by pathologists to study such conditions to be converted into digital files that can then be accessed using the internet. Applications of this technology aids in the education and research of cancer and other diseases.  

Stuart Harvey, Managing Director of i-Path Diagnostics, describes the collaboration with researchers at Michigan State University as “an important strategic breakthrough in a key target market”.

“The collaboration with researchers at Michigan State University gives us an essential and prestigious reference site that we can use to turn the many enquiries that we have received from the US into firm contracts. There’s a growing recognition in the US and other global markets that our technology is unique.”

Fiona Browne PhD, Software Developer at i-Path Diagnostics says “Our technology brings pathology into the digital age and makes it much easier for researchers to diagnose conditions and to communicate with each other on a global basis.

“Instead of sending a glass slide by parcel post to a colleague for consultation, a pathologist can now supply an internet link to our server for study. As well as the digital catalogue facility for slide libraries our software has other enhanced functions, such as a virtual microscope.  

“Our software makes the whole pathology process much easier, from diagnosis to the storage of slide libraries, which now can be accessed faster by researchers. The digital slides can be viewed and discussed by pathologists and researchers anywhere in the world,” she adds.

Welcoming i-Path’s success in US, Tracy Meharg, Invest NI Managing Director of Innovation and Capability, says: “This is a highly innovative product with immense export potential. Our missions to global markets such as the US enable the company to exploit the obvious potential of this leading-edge and very exciting technology.”

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