Computation pathology software provider Indica Labs and Octo, an information technology systems provider to the U.S. Federal Government, announced the launch of the online COVID Digital Pathology Repository (COVID-DPR), a virtual collection of high resolution microscopic COVID-related human tissue images hosted at the National Institutes of Health.
The creation of the repository should help speed research of the pathology, treatment, and prevention of COVID-19 and helps bridge the gap between those organizations that have viral containment facilities needed to conduct autopsies of those who have died from the disease and those that don’t. COVID-DPR provides access via a cloud-based platform to researchers who may not have direct access to tissue specimens. The platform allows for the sharing and annotating digital whole slide images of lung, liver, kidney and heart tissues from patients infected with COVID19, as well as the closely related coronaviruses associated with SARs and MERs.
The whole slide images, annotations and metadata provide a reference data set for education, research and future clinical trials aimed at limiting further infection, disease, and death.
“To better understand the ravaging effects of COVID-19 on the human body and to make progress in alleviating those effects, researchers need to have timely access to clinical and imaging data,” said Susan Gregurick, NIH associate director for data science and director of the Office of Data Science Strategy. “The COVID-19 digital pathology repository is a significant step in this direction. This resource provides all investigators a platform to access important reference datasets, and in the next iteration, to support clinical trials research and provide datasets for computational studies based on imaging analysis and artificial intelligence, which are essential capabilities for defeating COVID-19.”
COVID-DPR will run on Indica Labs’ HALO Link software, its image management platform that is designed to allow secure sharing of digital whole-slide images and data. COVID-DPR will be deployed in a web portal developed and managed by Octo and biomedical IT company Axle Informatics. Using the portal, scientists can securely add, view, annotate, analyze, and share whole slide images using HALO Link and will also integrations of Indica Labs’ image analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence tools.
“The entire Indica Labs team takes great pride in working with NIH and Octo to deliver a much-needed global integration for COVID-19 pathology and a framework for the implementation of further cutting-edge technologies,” said Steven Hashagen, CEO at Indica Labs. “Deployment of the HALO Link platform will provide data availability and allow real-time collaboration between the world’s leading clinical institutions at this critical time in our battle against the novel Coronavirus.”