Are you aware of how fast telepathology is expanding and being used across the world? Telepathology is one of the fastest-growing fields in telemedicine.
Due to current global conditions, that growth isn’t going to subside anytime soon. Telepathology solutions are becoming an even more common practice today, thanks to COVID-19.
The pandemic dramatically sped up the process of making these solutions more advanced. They are also more available than ever before.
Here are five ways telepathology solutions transform the medical field and save lives today.
1. New Technologies
Telepathology has been around since the 1980s. But, its rise has seen exponential growth recently. Several new solutions have significantly advanced in recent years.
Come and take a look.
For telepathology to be effective, doctors need access to high-resolution data. Telepathology scanners allow doctors and nurse practitioners to create digital copies of data and slides.
The scanners scan the slides and digitize the data. This reduces the need for the slides to be shipped to another destination for processing. Examinations instantly become faster.
Doctors use these high-powered scanners for several examinations. These include gross specimens, biopsies, autopsies, gram stain, and more.
Digital pathology allows healthcare professionals to get, manage, share and interpret information through a digital environment.
The digitization of data benefits patients greatly. After the slides become digitized and stored, doctors can view them at any other time. Access to high-speed Internet is necessary for this.
Doctors can make comparisons and draw further diagnoses using previous data sets. Pathology organizations and networks can exchange digitized patient cases faster.
Getting more experts’ eyes on the data, always for more advice and opinions on treatment.
Whole Slide Imaging
Whole Slide Imaging (WSI) allows for the digital storage of entire glass slides. In the past, slides were photographed in regions. Microscope-mounted cameras created static photos for doctors to view.
WSI technology today uses a robotic microscope and computer. Together they create high-resolution replicas of the slides shown. Specialized cameras are used to capture different elements of the samples.
Doctors can use the different photos captured to examine various ailments that may show up in the sample.
Unfortunately, WSI technology is not yet routinely used in telehealth. But it has been vital to medical education programs worldwide.
Frozen Section is a procedure where doctors can examine a tissue sample under a microscope in minutes.
The tissue sample is ‘flash’ frozen and cut into thin slices. Frozen sections can provide a rapid diagnosis or show diseased tissues not seen by the naked eye.
The procedure is often used during surgery. Doctors use it to make decisions about the patient in the moment. They have access to real-time results.
Pathologists outside the operating room can offer advice, take notes or point out review areas for the surgeon.
After surgery, the doctor can order more tests for the patient and follow up on their care. The procedure gives patients more opportunities for treatment in and out of surgery.
The samples are also saved and added to the digitized data set to be used again in the future when needed.
2. Worldwide Collaboration
With telepathology solutions, many doctors can view the same data to offer patients the best treatment.
Because there are no geographic barriers, access to medical care is now more accessible.
The most vulnerable patients can meet with specialists and receive proper treatment, otherwise unavailable. This is particularly true in the global south.
Telepathology is being used to get input from several experts for first-time consultations, follow-up appointments, and peer review.
Experts are also using the data and slides collected in research studies. Even though the use of telepathology has grown significantly, its use in research has grown even faster.
3. Improved Evaluations
More eyes on a set of data or test results mean more answers about what is wrong with the patient. Doctors have access to bigger data sets to view and study. This leads to a better chance of adequate treatment.
Better evaluations cause fewer human errors and are saving lives thanks to telepathology. With more advances, elevations can still improve further.
4. More Efficiency
With digitalization, laboratories become more connected. Thus, their efficiency increases. With more time, laboratories can create training resources for digital pathology to continue to grow.
As we advance, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will become more important in telepathology. Algorithms approved by the FDA and other government health agencies can quickly diagnose many ailments.
Although we will always need some level of human consultation, eventually, we can use telepathology to detect common diagnoses. With a large data set, algorithms will be able to detect disease on pace with doctors.
Using AI, doctors can spend more time with difficult cases. This is thanks to improved efficiency with telepathology.
5. Access to Education
As noted, telepathology solutions have many helpful effects in the medical field for doctors, nurse practitioners, and patients.
Yet, there are also advantages to those wanting to study medicine. Telepathology creates a channel for more people to study and practice medicine in the future.
There is a need for more doctors, specialists, and nurses, especially in the developing world. Telepathology solutions can allow students to sit in on medical procedures and view data as any medical student would.
It gives students the ability to study remotely and removes many of the financial barriers to studying medicine.
The Impacts of Telepathology Solutions
It is clear to see the impacts of telepathology solutions are far and wide-reaching. When COVID-19 forced the world to shut down, telepathology became a life-saver for millions of people.
As the field grows, new technologies emerge, and more doctors collaborate, telepathology will become more important to healthcare treatments.
Work with us today when it comes to your telepathology needs. We can support your health.