Now more than ever, it’s essential to improve pathology assessments. You can do this using technology.
Dr. Ronald Weinstein, M.D. is the founding father of telepathology applications. The doctor coined the word in 1986.
At that time, Dr. Weinstein outlined suggestions. His goal was to help the medical community to develop remote technology. Along with collaborators, he published the first scientific paper on the topic.
Dr. Weinstein also acquired a patent for telepathology diagnostic networks. He also received a patent for robotic telepathology systems.
In that year, doctors launched the first sustainable telepathology service. Now, patients from around the world benefit from the technology.
To learn more about telepathology applications, continue reading.
Understanding Telepathology Applications
Telepathology is a method of medical evaluation. It encompasses the transmission of medical images over the internet.
The practice makes it easier for physicians to perform diagnosis. It also makes the process much faster.
Now, physicians can cut and stain biopsies during an operation by digital means. They can also scan and magnify them.
Meanwhile, a pathologist can read the slides remotely and in real-time. By doing so, they can provide a surgeon with an immediate assessment of a sample.
Telepathology has three broad categories. They include:
- Real-time systems
2. Static image-based systems
3. Virtual slide systems
Using a static image-based system, physicians use a microscope to capture digital images. They’ll select an area of a slide and transmit that information to a pathologist for analysis.
With a virtual slide system, the physician will scan a specimen. They’ll then send that high-resolution image to the pathologist for evaluation.
Using a real-time system, however, the pathologist will use a remote microscope. They’ll control the microscope robotically. The pathologist can adjust the microscope as if it were in their on-site lab.
How Telepathology Can Improve Your Clinical Workflow
Speed is the biggest benefit of telepathology. For example, it greatly benefits patients who live in rural areas.
It can save patients from having to make multiple trips. They can travel to the nearest health care facility. This convenience will prevent the need for patients to travel to facilities located in metropolitan areas.
Furthermore, it will keep the patient from having to make trips several times. They also won’t have to wait weeks for results.
Instead, patients can receive their test results right away and in a single trip. Several weeks is the normal turnaround time for traditional pathology.
The latest test results can make a big difference and the treatment outcomes of patients. In extreme cases, a delay in test results can prove fatal. This scenario doesn’t take place commonly, but it’s not unusual.
Telepathology enables medical professionals to collaborate on diagnostic imaging. Using the internet, they can view and discuss imaging results.
For instance, doctors can use telepathology to work with specialists. A pathology specialist may work in one of several areas. For example, they might specialize in liver or lung pathology.
Telepathology also makes it easier for physicians to access second opinions. They can use the resulting image to synchronize patient data.
The upfront cost of a telepathology system is high. Yet, it’s much more cost-effective compared to traditional pathology.
For this reason, some care providers turn to telepathology companies. This practice is a cost-effective alternative to purchasing telepathology equipment.
The Evolution of Telepathology
Today, medical professionals around the world use telepathology. They consider the practice an invaluable resource.
Typically, doctors associate telepathology with whole slide imaging. It’s the practice of creating a permanent, full copy of a glass slide. The physicians will make the slide in multiple magnifications.
This practice can enable a pathologist to review patient information remotely. They can also select specific fields of the slide for further analysis. Pathologists can then use the image to perform in-depth analyses and measurements.
These professionals still use a microscope as their primary tool. However, telepathology also enables them to use their microscopes remotely and in real-time. The technology provides pathologists with a high-quality view of a microscope’s optical field.
The Future of Telepathology
Digital pathology enables physicians to turn patient diagnostic images into data. Pathologists can then easily view this information on computers and mobile devices. They can also share the images with researchers and other authorized healthcare providers.
Today, there’s a rapidly increasing demand for instant access to medical information. As a result, the digital pathology field is poised for phenomenal growth.
Telepathology is simple and fast. It can make a big difference in saving lives.
Now, a growing number of physicians perform virtual microscopy. This practice involves scanning an image of an entire microscope slide. Physicians will then store that image as a high-resolution digital file.
Pathologists can then view the slide easily. The process is similar to how a person might use Google maps to look around a neighborhood.
With virtual microscopy, pathologists can quickly and easily share important medical imaging. As a result, they can collaborate with their peers around the world.
The robotic microscope is another remarkable advancement. It enables the automatic scanning of samples. Robotic automation can also perform important tasks such as digitizing imagery.
Pathologists also make use of computer-aided diagnostics. This technology uses artificial intelligence to interpret digital slides.
Computer-aided diagnostics streamlines diagnoses. It also improves the accuracy and efficiency of evaluations.
The practice will soon help doctors realize the full benefit of telepathology solutions. When it does, pathologists can focus on finding solutions. This benefit will help to resolve patients’ most pressing issues.
Real-Time Access to Top-Notch Pathology
Now you know more about telepathology applications. All you need is a cost-effective, expert service provider.
Specialist Direct is a full-service telehealth provider. We provide services for telecardiology, telepathology, and teleradiology. It’s our mission to ensure that patients receive the best care available.
At Specialist Direct, we are proud to deliver the highest level of customer support in the field. Furthermore, our clients appreciate our capability to meet stringent turnaround needs. We also ensure that practices remain HIPAA compliant.
Contact us today to learn more about telepathology and our solutions.