Telepathology, the use of technology to view light microscopy images at a distance, was pioneered by Dr. Ronald S. Weinstein in 1986 when he used tele-robotic light microscopy technology through satellite communications to diagnose cancer in a patient in El Paso, TX from Washington D.C. Dr. Weinstein’s innovation became known as telepathology, and he became known as the “Father of Telepathology.”
Telepathology has been instrumental in increasing the speed and accuracy of cancer diagnosis. Today, telepathology is being used in 32 countries globally, with the United States accounting for about 40% of the world’s pathologists who serve only 3% of the world’s population. As of 2016, many countries, especially in Africa, have experienced a significant shortage of pathologists, with some countries having less than 10 pathologists for their entire population.
With the projected increase of cancer cases by approximately 70% in the next 20 years, with 1.4 million of them being misdiagnosed, telepathology can be the solution to leveraging the expertise of subspecialist pathologists worldwide. New digital pathology technologies, such as whole slide imaging (WSI), are making great strides. WSI, also known as virtual pathology, enables pathologists to remotely view digitized stained tissue from glass or frozen slides, magnifying the pathology images similarly to microscopy.
These revolutionary telepathology and digital pathology technologies will continue to enhance the accuracy and speed of cancer diagnosis and intervention. The goal is to realize the full potential of telepathology in the form of substantial and continuous global improvements in cancer diagnosis. The United States has a moral obligation to improve and potentially save the lives of millions of people worldwide.
Telepathology at Specialist Direct
Telepathology is an integral part of the services provided by Specialist Direct. Our specialists accurately read and interpret kidney and liver biopsies for better results. Contact us for a consultation or information on our services today.