What is digital pathology?
Digital pathology refers to the field of capturing, managing, and interpreting digitized specimen slides. The specimen is placed on glass slides that are scanned and converted to high resolution digital images through the use of a digital scanner. Through specialized software, the images can be viewed and interpreted from a computer, essentially eliminating the need to review the actual specimen.
Why is digital pathology important?
The field of digital pathology has become more important each day because it facilitates the ability to capture and process a large amount of data captured through the digitized slides that can yield insightful information within the medical field. Digital pathology can be utilized as a health preventative tool that helps anticipate potential diagnoses for potential patient through the analysis of historical, high volume data. Currently, digital pathology is helping facilitate research in the most prominent and dangerous diseases, such as cancer.
Additionally, digital pathology can offer a quicker diagnosis for existing patients by simplifying the workflow for pathology interpretations by eliminating the need for the specimen to be transported to a specialized lab and reviewed in person by a pathologist. Instead, a pathologist can review the digitized slides remotely and provide an interpretation faster. An additional benefit is that through the utilization of specialized software, digital pathology interpretations can yield more accurate diagnoses, since such software can often calculate patterns and highlight findings that are difficult for the human eye to capture. In fact, digital pathology has been a driver in developing sophisticated futuristic tools such as artificial intelligence in this space.
Furthermore, through digital pathology, specialists can work with digitized slides and collaborate from anywhere in the world. This can ultimately accelerate advances in the field by bringing together the most knowledgeable minds in pathology. Additionally, digital pathology provides an opportunity to offer web-based education in pathology. Experts in this field can expand their reach to a global level and facilitating the ability for students to learn about pathology from anywhere in the world.
Finally, digital pathology can transform medicine by optimizing the workflow for the field of pathology in general. Traditional pathology requires expensive labs, and dedicated resources to evaluate specimen through a lengthy process of scanning slides through a microscope. Utilizing digital pathology for primary diagnosis can significantly reduce costs for medical providers who no longer need to ship out specimen to a specialist lab. Also, the processing of the specimen through a lab is eliminated. Instead, specimen slides can be digitally scanned and quickly uploaded for review.
The future of digital pathology
Digital pathology has been around for over 20 years. However, its adaptation has been slow due in part to legislation that is still figuring out how to integrate it within complex healthcare systems. In addition, the management and translation of an abundant amount of data is no easy feat. The good news is that every day, digital pathology becomes a more promising field that is inspiring next generation tools that will continue to transform the medical industry. To learn more about our digital pathology solutions, contact us today!