Medical experts are hailing a new early-warning system as a major breakthrough in diagnosing Irish cancer patients. The National Quality Assurance Intelligence System is being used to review the accuracy of diagnostic testing from hospital labs.
The system is already being monitored by the Canadian health service which hopes to adopt a similar system.
It is the first system of its kind in the world and every hospital lab in the country will be taking part.
The programme is is essentially a national framework, where all Irish laboratories enter their data on the performance and quality of their reporting into a national database.
This information is then used to measure metrics at a national level and monitor Ireland against the international standards.
The system will see technicians sift through 350,000 samples every year.
Professor Conor O'Keane of the Mater Hospital was on the working group behind the scheme. He says the vast amount of data is what makes the system so groundbreaking.