Title Eurocytology 2013-2015
Project Number UK/13/LLP-LdV/TOI-650
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Country UK-United Kingdom
The Eurocytology website (www.eurocytology.eu) is a unified platform for the vocational training and professional education of Target groups: Trainee Cytotechnologists, Cytopathologists in training, Cytology teachers and instructors, Medical students.
The training comprises of a series of cytology courses,a reference library of cytology slides ,a series of self assessment tests .
It is translated in 8 european languages (english, italian, spanish, hungarian, greek, polish, turkish, czech) with german, french and portuguese being added in the current project.
The partners are Imperial College NHS Trust (UK), European Federation of Cytology Societies (BE),Czech Cytology Society (CZ),Turkish Cytology Society (TR), Interfase (I)amd Inbrooks ltd (UK). The previous project included The Pomeranian University (PL), the Polish Cytology Society (PL), the Hungarian Cytology Society (H), the Swedish Cytology Society(S),the Karolinska Insitut and Hospital(S)and the Italian Cytology Society(I).
• The website was originally developed with Leonardo funding in the 2005-07 call. Its use has significantly exceeded expectations. It is now the most used cytology e-learning training platform on the web but needed upgrade. A new dynamic website with a purpose prepared graphic layout, the capabilities for multi languages (in at least 13 languages although only the 8 approved Leonardo funded are currently operational), an extensive image library and 27 courses with material and tests has been developed. There is the opportunity for user feedback and interactive support.
The content of the courses has been assessed and validated both internally as well as externally. The dynamic architecture of the site allows easy updates and image uploads.
A proprietary software (MicroTiling) has been developed, optimizing the scanning and upload of the virtual slides.
In the period 1 April 2015 to 23 September 2015 all but one respondent (96.77%) to our feedback questions said our training website was good or satisfactory to access. 83.87% had used the website more than once. Out of 79,101 sessions carried out in the period 5833 (7.37%) were from Turkey, making that country now the third biggest user. There were 2788 users (2.95%) from the Czech Republic (11th). In the EU Spain ranked 4th, Italy 5th, Poland now 6th and Greece 7th with Hungary 10th and the UK 14th with 1843 - 2.33% of users. The change of nationality of users reflects the work we have done and the availability now of Turkish and Czech translated material.
In the same period there were over 148,000 page views with an average of 1.88 pages per session. 14.7% were returning visitors. Of the 79,101 sessions 53.8% of users used a desktop (42558), 39.92% a mobile (31575) and 6.26% the tablet (4968) - a dramatic change to the way users access our site. Google has certified our website to be mobile friendly. Some 840 users had attempted the QUATE mock accreditation test which we had put online for just that purpose.
More people are using the new website than before
It is even easier to navigate and follow than the old site. Users confirm this.
There is more updated, translated and relevant material on display. The users appreciate this and have commented on this fact.
Putting material on the website in Czech and Turkish has significantly increased the use of the site in those two countries. The use in Turkey has increased dramatically.
Our training platform is now accessible from a range of devices - exactly what we wanted. Mobile phone use now accounts for almost 40% of users - previously with the old site you could not access the platform in this way
148,000 page views and over 79,000 sessions in the period April - September 2015 make our site the most visited medical website. In the context of cytology it is the most visited website worldwide
We have met our target in terms of translating training materials now available to view
Aims of the project are:
Increasing access to training in clinical cytology
Harmonising training in cytology throughout the EU
Improving standards of training
Encouraging continuing professional development
Promoting equal opportunities for employment in the EU
The training program has been independently validated by the European Advisory Committee on Cytotechnology (EACC) and Prof. Mina Desai (Editor of Cytopathology Journal).
The peculiarity of the project are:
Validation through a European Network
Dinamic tests through the use of a specific software and image database
Use of virtual slides
Translated in 8 languages with French, German and Portuguese being added.
The website was originally developed with Leonardo funding over the period 2005-2008. There were 8 partners including Imperial College, London, 2 medical universities in Poland, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and the Swedish Society for Clinical Cytology and a medical facility in Hungary. A static website training platform was prepared available in six languages - English, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Polish and Hungarian. Its use significantly exceeded expectations and by 2012 it was receiving on average 37,000 visits and 56,000 pages downloaded each month. In the field of cytology it was the most widely used training platform across the world.
The current proposal has been to expand the website further with more languages and content. Importantly we wanted to make the website architecture dynamic rather than static. The material on it needed to be updated, enhanced and broadened. Not only had there been demands from users and the cytologist professionals for an enhancement of training content but since the static site was developed and available for use via desk top computer communication practices have been changed dramatically. We needed to make the website accessible via a range of devices - particularly tablets and smart phones. Accordingly the new proposal focussed upon the functionality of a new dynamic website, translating material into the languages of Czech and Turkish (making 8 languages available on the website) and updating and improving all the course material, virtual slides displayed, providing tests for people to try out and arrangements for feedback from users. Our new partners from Turkey and the Czech Republic would be responsible for their translation work and ensuring that their course content met the regulatory requirements for cytology training in their own respective countries. We invited the European Federation of Cytological Societies, the professional association responsible for promoting EU-wide professional training of both medical and non-medical cytologists and the promotion, status and eminence of cytology to join us. Their role would be to extensively disseminate our work, publicise the new website and continue to promote and further the role of cytology leading ultimately to our website training platform accepted and accredited EU wide. Interfase, an Italian IT company with highly rated technical competence, joined the partnership responsible for the development and implementation of the new website. They were to follow that up with the training of other partner staff in how to put material onto the new website and help keep it up to date. A UK project management Inbrook Ltd, whose staff had been involved in the earlier Leonardo work would provide the overall monitoring and audit work and manage partner activity.
Utilization and distribution of results
Recognition, transparency, certification
Open and distance learning
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
Human Health and Social Work Activities
open and distance learning
material for open learning
transparency and certification
program or curricula
The project has met all 5 objectives set out in the application.
1. To promote the Importance and Value of the Website: We have extensively promoted the importance and value of our website as the future EU accredited training platform in cytology for VET skills training and updating. Since the website became dynamic April 2015 the use of the site, as recorded via Google, has increased six fold up to the end of September 2015. Almost 40% of its use is now done via smart phones and 6.3% tablets - access routes not available with the old static website. The targets set at the application stage for website use have been exceeded
2. To provide a training platform suitable for European Accreditation in Cytology: Eurocytology has now been formally accredited in the Czech Republic and recognised as the platform to use in Turkey. It is accepted as the officially recommended training tool in these countries. Elsewhere it has been widely promoted and now has EU healthcare sector recognition.
3. To increase the Number of Languages and Update the Content of the Website: There are now 15 chapters translated, completed and uploaded and a further 20 chapters nearing completion (target date early 2016). This will comprise 27 courses in total in an improved format. Within the course material there are over 200 viewable slides. The website is available in 8 languages (as per the approved application), up from 6. In total our training platform has been presented and discussed at 70 cytology and medical congresses, symposia, workshops and meeting events over 2 years.
4. To enhance the skills and competences of those people using it: Our course material is more comprehensive, covers more subjects, has better virtual images and offers students the choice of reading material and/or testing their skill levels. Whilst doing this we have piloted our training curriculum at 3 accreditation tutorials with medical students undertaking training in 3 countries and tested the use of the website through user feedback. We have evaluated user comment, amended content and targeted upskilling and skills development for cytotechnicians, cytopathologists and medics. The new website is dynamic and open source - so is free for users to access and use.
5. Participating countries to adapt the platform for own use and benefits: All participating countries have done this. They have translated and updated material to meet their own healthcare demands.