Background: In any country, independently of the objectives (treatment or research) an acurate diagnosis based on pathology is a prerequisite. The huge differences in the number of pathology labs and pathologists between african and industrialized countries justify the development of innovative technology based on internet communications such as telepathology.
Aim: To implement the development of telepathology in hematopathology to acess second opinion from experts on cytology and histology offering support in diagnosis, exchanges for research topics and training .
Methods: To assess existing resources and to set up equipment with microscope connected to numerical camera, computer and internet was the first step. Then, the open source software i-Path, developed by the University of Basel, used through the network INCTR/AMCC/INCa France for telecommunication was set up. Significative numerical pictures (JPEG) were sent via internet to the i-path community to obtain second opinion from experts in hematopathology.
Results: In May 2014, 148 cases were recorded in the francophone africa group for diagnosis support included children and adults cases and 26 cases in the group of research project on lymphoproliferative disorders in Senegal, a research topic for a PhD thesis on chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The cases from children were mostly Burkitt lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In adults, large cell lymphoma cases and differential diagnosis with metastasis of carcinoma were the most frequent cases.
Conclusions: This experiment demonstrates the importance of a second opinion for support diagnosis especially for cytology in hematopathology in low resource countries. Moreover, the use of telepathology can help for improving the standard and new techniques in hematopatholgy such as immuno-cyto or histo-chemistry as well as for training.