Are you missing out on digital pathology for your practice or healthcare facility? The efficiency, speed, and quality of healthcare is rapidly changing with the help of technology.
Many pathology departments across the country are still not taking advantage of whole slide imaging.
You might be wondering: How does whole slide imaging work? If that’s the case, then continue reading for a complete overview of whole slide imaging.
Why Use Whole Slide Imaging (WSI)?
It’s simple to understand why whole slide imaging is the future of pathology. However, it can be difficult to implement something new in your department.
The key is in the long term benefits to your pathologists. They will quickly see why whole slide imaging is going to be their best friend.
This is the first part of the process when it comes to transferring glass slides into digital slides that can then be viewed, managed, organized, and shared within a digital pathology software application.
The initial process may be time-consuming at first. But the result is having all of your samples digitized. Meaning pathologists are able to access all slides instantly. This seriously benefits patients by allowing hospitals to send digital slides to specialists who are located far away.
It is also helpful for research since you can easily pull up prior cases for comparison. This keeps slides easily accessible and also decreases the amount of misidentification.
Teams of pathologists and healthcare professionals are also able to make annotations and save them directly within the digital slide. This makes it easy for specialists to weigh in on diagnosing a sample and also to refer back to a slide’s notes years later.
How Does Whole Slide Imaging Work?
Now that you know why whole slide imaging (WSI) is being used, let’s dive into exactly how it works.
Whole slide imaging simply refers to the scanning of glass pathology slides and turning them into digital slides.
This is done by capturing the images of tissue sections tile by tile or via line-scanning. The technology will then take these multiple images and put them together to form the entire slide. The best time to scan glass slides is as soon as they have been made. This is because they are clean of fingerprints, dotting pen marks, etc.
Different techniques are being used in order to get the most accurate scans. For example, line scanning uses focus maps where points are placed over the surface. This results in the fastest scans although they are more likely to have errors.
Consider Your Options
More recent scans include continuous automatic refocusing processes to increase the quality as well as tissue recognition features. This has allowed for automatic detection of the specimen meaning better efficiency.
Some scanners are built to hold up to 400 slides. There are scanning time ranges from 30 seconds to several minutes. You can also choose from scanners that are made for higher magnifications such as X40 versus the usual X20. As well as for digitizing fluorescent labeled images.
These can affect the amount of time it takes to scan as well as the size of the digital file. Depending on your specific needs you may need to consider which scanner is right for your facility.
Take Advantage of Whole Slide Imaging
Now that we’ve answered the question, how does whole slide imaging work? You may be wondering how you can find the right scanning technology for your business.
Whole slide imaging technology can be very complex and this often dissuades people from trying to implement it. Yet it’s all a matter of finding the right guidance.
Contact us today to learn more about whole slide imaging implementation for your medical facility.