About the Project

The Project in question is an integral part of the rapidly developing, both in Poland and worldwide,  area of telemedicine. Significant advances in technology, particularly the development of communication technology, virtual microscopy and integration with hospital information systems provide for an impulse for further integration of  telepathology into the daily activities of the pathologist.  Telepathology, the histopathological diagnosis at a distance, using telecommunication technologies as a means of facilitating the transfer of images between distant pathology centres is used for: diagnosis, consultation (with the possibility to discuss between pathologists and / or clinicians, with distance being no obstacle), remote quality control (in relation pathologist and laboratory reference), education, research and scientific research cooperation.

The digital recording of the scanned microscope slide, or a diagnostically substantial part of it in the computer diagnostic system allows to create a digital sample of excellent diagnostic quality, durability of and ease of archiving.
 
To ‘archive’ however, means in this case, not only the possibility of storing images and their descriptions in one digital form or another. Archiving systems are equipped with efficient mechanisms to find the required material, relieving the staff from the duty of having to browse thousands of records. In terms of morphology, they are also equipped with tools for their digital processing, planimetric and morphological measurements, as well as carrying out a variety of statistical analyses. Digital archiving is particularly effective in the rapid growth of the amount of data. Both, the requirements of the scientific, and legal considerations necessitate access to most of the data even after a long time. Circulation of digitally archived microscopic images and their descriptions are fully implemented in a way that enables a significantly better management of electronic information.
 
Virtual microscopy, which is the latest innovation in the field of telepathology, has revolutionized the work of pathologists in diagnostic practice and allows the development of skills, access to information and services, as well as products for the pathologist’s workplace equipment. Therefore, telepathology and the related new technologies, are gaining widespread acceptance as quick, cost-effective and easily accessible tools for pathology research. The increasing complexity of histopathological diagnosis and the development of subspecialties,  in conjunction with the uneven geographical distribution of pathologists (and experts) make instant, professional teleconsultation a necessity. The project significantly contributes to improvement in this respect.
 
It is assumed that as a result of the project, two fully automated research microscopes, supported by IT network, accessible from anywhere in the world will be made available to researchers. Each of the microscopes is equipped with a tray of 50 histological slides (preparations demanding diagnosis or used for training), and access to the system will be possible for external users. Upon the first connection identification details will have to be  provided, and for each subsequent logs, the login and password provided upon registration. The system will allow for the simultaneous, independent operation of two microscopes, and it will enable the simultaneous connection of 3 parties to conduct tele-or videoconferencing. 
 
The potential users of the system includes the following:
  • physicians specializing in pathology (including working those employed in commercialy operated clinics); 
  • histologists;
  • students of medical, dental, and medical-pharmaceutical faculties of medical universities and medical schools in Poland, 
  • researchers are preparing training materials, reviews, theses, etc.

 

The second element of the system will be a central database of scanned histological sections covering normal histological images of organs and rare and unusual lesions including tumors. The access to the virtual system is similar to those described above, however the number of simultaneous users of  center will amount to 20. 
 
The potential users of the system include:
  • physicians of any specialty who require the basic knowledge of morphology of disease entities (job training, benchmarking, access to the virtual atlas)
  • histologists and anatomists 
  • students from all faculties of universities related to biology and medicine 
  • academics

 

The third element of the system will be a central repository for tissue microarray. Microarrays will be distributed free of charge within the scientific community in Poland. The above-mentioned microarrays are now one of the priority research tools in the differential diagnosis and comparison of lesions in a range of medical specialties including morphology and pathology. A single microarray is intended to include at least 100 tissue specimens with a diameter of 1 mm each in a single slide. 
 
The potential users of this tool are the following:
  • pathologists
  • researchers

(Information from the website of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education

 

Innovative Economy Operational Programme – what is it?
The Innovative Economy Operational Programme 2007 - 2013 is one of the instruments for the implementation of the National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013 (NSRF). The main goal of the programme is to develop the Polish economy with innovative enterprises as its backbone. This goal is associated with the objectives set in the EU’s fundamental medium-term strategic document, the Renewed Lisbon Strategy of 2005.  The main priorities of the Lisbon Strategy are economic growth and employment, to be achieved in full compliance with the objectives of sustainable development and with Community Strategic Guidelines. The IE OP was the subject of long negotiations with the European Commission, and of public consultations. On 2 October 2007, Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for Regional Policy signed the European Commission’s decision approving the Innovative Economy Operational Programme. On 30 October 2007, the Council of Ministers passed a resolution adopting the Innovative Economy Operational Programme. 
 

 

Objectives of the IE OP

The main goal of the IE OP is to develop the Polish economy with innovative enterprises. This will be achieved through the implementation of the following detailed objectives:

The main goal of the IE OP is to develop the Polish economy with innovative enterprises. This will be achieved through the implementation of the following detailed objectives:

 

  • to make enterprises more innovative
  • to improve the competitiveness of Polish science
  • to strengthen the role of science in economic development
  • to increase the share of innovative products of the Polish economy in the international market
  • to create more permanent and better workplaces
  • to increase the use of information and communication technologies in the economy.

 

ERDF Support under the IE OP
The IE OP supports highly innovative projects which have significant impact on the national economy. The Innovative Economy Operational Programme is to provide comprehensive support for innovative R&D projects undertaken by entrepreneurs in order to increase their competitiveness in the Single European Market and in international markets, and, consequently, to create more permanent and better jobs in innovative enterprises.
The research sector, which helps to improve the innovativeness and competitiveness of the Polish economy, will also benefit, as the programme will fund research that provides cutting-edge technologies for businesses.
In order to facilitate the development, transfer and implementation of new technological and organizational solutions by entrepreneurs, the programme will support initiatives concerning the business environment, especially those of supraregional importance. Support will also be provided to institutions of key importance for the entire economy, involved in promoting business innovation and entrepreneurship, including networks of such institutions, strong innovation centres and institutions which provide capital for the implementation of innovative projects.
These measures will be implemented under nine priorities of the IE OP. The following areas are to be supported under these priorities: research that may provide innovative solutions; conditions for the development of innovative research and for cooperation between the research and business sectors; companies with potential to commercialize innovative solutions; companies with innovative project concepts; promotion of Polish products and companies with potential on global markets; implementation of ICT solutions in the economy and administration.
 
IE OP Priorities:
  • Priority Axis 1 – Research and development of new technologies
  • Priority Axis 2 – R&D infrastructure
  • Priority Axis 3 – Capital for innovation
  • Priority Axis 4 – Investments in innovative undertakings
  • Priority Axis 5 – Diffusion of innovation
  • Priority Axis 6 – The Polish economy on the international market
  • Priority Axis 7 – Information Society – development of electronic administration
  • Priority Axis 8 – Information Society – increasing innovation in the economy
  • Priority Axis 9 – Technical assistance

The fund sources for the implementation of the IE OP

 

The IE OP will be financed from EU funds (European Regional Development Fund – 85 %) and domestic funds (state budget and local self-government budgets – 15 %).
The amount for the entire Programme is estimated at 9 711 billion Euro; Priority 1 “Research and development of new technologies”  and Priority 2 “R&D infrastructure” will each be supported by 1.3 billion Euro.
 
Institutions 
The Ministry of Regional Development is the IE OP Managing Authority (MA). In addition to the MA, the institutional framework includes the following Intermediate Bodies (IB):
  • Ministry of Economy – IB for Priorities 3, 4, 5 and 6.
  • Ministry of Science and Higher Education – IB for Priorities 1 and 2.
  • Ministry of Interior and Administration – IB for Priorities 7 and 8.

The above institutions will be responsible for the implementation of the respective priorities of the Operational Programme Innovative Economy 2007 – 2013. For further information, please refer to Operational Programme Innovative Economy 2007 – 2013 and Detailed Description of the Priorities of the IE OP.