Philips teams up with Visiopharm to boost breast cancer diagnosis objectivity through computational pathology

June 21, 2016

  • Breast cancer patients in Europe are set to benefit from more objective diagnosis
  • Philips’ digital pathology offering to be complemented with Visiopharm breast cancer panel algorithms

Amsterdam, the NetherlandsRoyal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) today announced that it has signed a licensing agreement with Visiopharm to offer their breast cancer panel software algorithms [1] with Philips IntelliSite [2] digital pathology solution to help pathologists with an objective diagnosis of breast cancer. Applying smart computer processing to the digital tumor tissue image, the companies believe that the pathologist will be able to achieve a more consistent reading and diagnosis to help inform the patient’s treatment regime. Visiopharm’s breast cancer panel software (Ki-67 APP for Breast Cancer, Her2 APP for Breast Cancer, ER APP for Breast Cancer and PR APP for Breast Cancer) are CE marked for diagnostic use in Europe [1].

Through strategic investments in R&D, an acquisition, partnerships and technology licenses, Philips is building a leading portfolio for the digitization of pathology, a fast-growing area in healthcare as pathology labs are looking to improve productivity and enhance quality.

The pathologist plays a critical role in disease detection such as cancer by examining suspected tissue under a microscope. The American Society of Clinical Oncology reported [3] that current HER2 (breast cancer) testing may be inaccurate. Specifically, the assessment biomarker status of cancerous cells in tissue proved to be subjective with variability in readings amongst pathologists. Studies have shown that digital image analysis in support of the pathologist assessment actually outperform manual biomarker assessment in this task [4].

“Over the past 150 years, the pathologist has used a traditional microscope to diagnose cancer and other diseases,” said Visiopharm CEO Dr. Michael Grunkin. “Rapid advances in digital imaging coupled with the use of powerful new analytic methods promise to radically change the future of pathology. Combining the high image quality from Philips’ IntelliSite pathology solution with Visiopharm’s reagent agnostic diagnostic image analysis is the first step towards improving data quality in histopathology.”


Digitization of pathology will open up new ways to get more information from tissue samples. High quality digital images and world class image analysis will facilitate the objective analysis of images. With advanced algorithms and data management systems, Philips aims to help to translate the big data into actionable knowledge and equip pathologists with needed tools to enable a more accurate and precise diagnosis which could help providing more personalized treatment.


“We are committed to empower pathologists with the best tools to fight cancer,” said Russ Granzow, General Manager of Philips Digital Pathology Solutions. “With computational pathology we continue to innovate with the goal to improve the effectiveness and quality of cancer diagnosis.”


Philips lntelliSite pathology solution is an automated digital pathology image creation, management and viewing system comprised of an ultra-fast pathology slide scanner, an image management system and dedicated software tools. Across the globe, several high-volume and networked pathology institutions are relying on the Philips IntelliSite pathology platform for improved workflows, enhanced collaboration capabilities and provide new insights that ultimately could lead to better patient outcomes.

[1] Visiopharm breast cancer panel software (Ki-67 APP for Breast Cancer, Her2 APP for Breast Cancer, ER APP for Breast Cancer and PR APP for Breast Cancer) are CE marked for diagnostic use in Europe. These algorithms are for research use only and not approved for use in diagnostic procedures in the United States and Canada.

[2] In the European Union, the Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution is CE Marked under the European Union's 'In Vitro Diagnostics Directive' for in vitro diagnostic use. In Canada, the Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution is licensed by Health Canada for in vitro diagnostic use. In the United States, the Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution is indicated for in vitro diagnostic use for Manual Read of the Digital HER2 Application. The Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution is registered for in vitro diagnostic use in Australia, Singapore and Middle East.

[3] Guideline for HER2 Testing in Breast Cancer—Wolff et al, Arch Pathol Lab Med—Vol 131, January 2007

[4] Digital image analysis in breast cancer - G Stålhammar et al Modern Pathology (2016) 29, 318–329

For further information, please contact:

Hans Driessen

Philips Digital Pathology Solutions

Tel: +31 6 10610417


Steve Klink

Philips Group Communications

Tel.: +31 6 10888824


Helle Fisker, CMO

Visiopharm A/S

Tel: +45 29178777


About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. The company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips’ health technology portfolio generated 2015 sales of EUR 16.8 billion and employs approximately 69,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at

About Visiopharm

Visiopharm image analysis software has become the preferred Quantitative Digital Pathology solution for leading biopharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations (CRO), research institutions, and for hospital diagnostic pathology labs around the world. Our software is featured in over 1000 scientific publications, and is compatible with leading slide scanner manufacturers, data management software, and a wide variety of microscopes and cameras. Visiopharm is an international business with over 600 licenses placed, with countless users, in more than 35 countries. The company was founded in 2001 by the Managing Director, and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Grunkin and the Chief Technical officer, Johan Doré Hansen, who both have a strong scientific and practical background in image analysis. See more on

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