We accept all test referrals. Find a Collection Centre

Home Newsroom News

Prototyping the future of pathology

Media Resources & Contact
24th May, 2023

In a non-descript warehouse in a Macquarie Park industrial estate, the future of health is being put to the test.

The fur­nish­ings are decep­tive­ly basic, but the new facil­i­ty – the Health Pro­to­typ­ing Cen­tre – is where NSW Health Pathol­o­gy (NSWHP) will put some of its most pro­gres­sive ideas and pro­to­types through their paces.

The Cen­tre is a new joint­ly-cre­at­ed and fund­ed ven­ture between NSW Health Pathol­o­gy, eHealth NSW, HealthShare NSW and Health Infra­struc­ture NSW.

Mar­tin Cano­va, NSWHP Direc­tor of Strat­e­gy & Trans­for­ma­tion, who pro­vides strate­gic direc­tion on behalf of NSW Health Pathol­o­gy, said the Cen­tre will pro­vide an excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty for pathol­o­gy staff and part­ner­ing col­lab­o­ra­tors to tack­le some of our most com­plex health challenges.

“The Health Pro­to­typ­ing Cen­tre will enable us to explore poten­tial solu­tions before invest­ing fur­ther time and fund­ing into a final option to improve people’s expe­ri­ences of health.”

NSW Health Pathol­o­gy has access to a large slab of open-plan space, with room to sim­u­late a lab­o­ra­to­ry, and a col­lec­tion room with wait­ing area. There is also a sim­u­lat­ed four-bed ward space, a nurse’s sta­tion and space for home-based simulations.

Dr Alex Gar­rett, Ser­vice Design­er with NSW Health Pathol­o­gy, said the Cen­tre will give NSW Health Pathol­o­gy floor space – and think­ing space – to change pathol­o­gy ser­vices for the better.

“The Cen­tre is an excel­lent resource that will help us deliv­er more future-focussed, sus­tain­able ser­vices,” Dr Gar­rett said.

“Pro­to­typ­ing teams will focus on whether it fits the needs of patients and staff, whether we have the right sys­tems and tech­nol­o­gy to sup­port it and if it is viable and sus­tain­able long-term.

“We’ll be able to deter­mine what new and improved ideas, ser­vice and tech­nol­o­gy should be fur­ther devel­oped and poten­tial­ly intro­duced into health­care set­tings. It will also allow us to dis­cov­er which ideas do not war­rant fur­ther invest­ment of time or funding.”

So far, the Cen­tre has giv­en pathol­o­gy staff based at Black­town Hos­pi­tal space to work­shop how they might accom­mo­date new and updat­ed lab equip­ment, as well as new way of work­ing, to make best use of the lab space avail­able to them. Anatom­i­cal Pathol­o­gists are also inves­ti­gat­ing aug­ment­ed real­i­ty as a means of super­vis­ing junior staff.

Dr Gar­rett said pro­to­typ­ing would be a shift away from pilot­ing com­mon­ly used in health.

“Pro­to­typ­ing is very dif­fer­ent to pilot­ing,” Dr Gar­rett said. “Pilot­ing involves test­ing one sin­gle solu­tion to a prob­lem which either pass­es or fails.

“Pro­to­typ­ing is much more flex­i­ble and allows us to try out a num­ber of poten­tial solu­tions to learn what works well and what are the ‘deal break­ers’ to intro­duc­ing the solu­tion across the health system.

Anoth­er plus is that the vast major­i­ty of pro­to­typ­ing can be done at lit­tle cost.”

Dr Gar­rett said the beau­ty of pro­to­typ­ing is that even a ‘failed’ project pro­vides valu­able insights.

“Even when a solu­tion is not found, we learn more about the prob­lem and how we might approach it next time,” Dr Gar­rett said.

“For exam­ple, pro­to­typ­ing may pro­vide evi­dence why a project – pos­si­bly one with mil­lions of dol­lars in fund­ing attached to it – should not go ahead. Or, we may dis­cov­er a prod­uct or ser­vice is a good idea, but we don’t yet have the equip­ment, IT capa­bil­i­ty or the right staff to intro­duce it into our ser­vices right now.”


IMG 1541


Skip to content