Quick biopsies and their interpretations are crucial to safely procuring organs. In this article, we’ll show you how digital pathology can speed up the process.
The U.S. has over 114,000 people on its national transplant waiting list. Every ten minutes, someone gets added to that list.
New technology has the ability to reduce the number of people waiting for organs and to create a hopeful future. Biopsies are part of this process.
They are necessary for the accurate and safe procurement of organs, but until recently, obtaining a biopsy was a lengthy procedure. But, digital pathology assesses an organ’s state within minutes.
If you’re new to telepathology, you might wonder how that’s possible. In this article, we explain how it works.
The Original Method
To best comprehend the status of an organ, a biopsy is necessary. These tests are especially useful in testing for cancerous cells. Unfortunately, x-rays and traditional means can’t differentiate between healthy and infected cells.
In traditional methods, the facility sends a sample to a lab for further examination. Oftentimes, this requires the use of the U.S. mail system, couriers or other transportation services.
After the sample reaches the correct lab, a pathologist studies it and determines if the organ is safe for another person to use. Those results are then sent to the original hospital or organization, usually electronically.
Complicated results may take a week or longer.
Using Digital Pathology
Using digital pathology, the process moves quicker.
A doctor removes a tissue or cell sample to study it. Rather than sending the sample to a lab, an expert uses one of three forms of digital pathology to examine the sample and provide a diagnosis.
Real-time systems give a remote operator access to a microscope. In this way, the pathologist studies the sample as if he or she were in the lab.
When companies use virtual slide systems, the samples get scanned and high-resolution photos get sent to the pathologist over the Internet. Static image-based systems work in much the same way. In this process, however, a camera attached to the microscope captures the images.
Speeding Up The Process
There are many ways that digital pathology speeds up the process.
Doctors no longer have to depend on mail systems to safely deliver specimens. Instead, information travels immediately through the web, reducing the time it takes to arrive at the pathologist.
In fact, real-time pathology is so efficient doctors use it during surgery.
No Overwhelmed Pathologists
Remote biopsies also have the advantage of utilizing a broad range of pathologists working from home. Because there are more pathologists to request diagnoses from, many have a lighter workload. This results in biopsy samples getting examined quicker and with more accuracy.
No Waiting for Second Opinions
Pathologists often request second opinions. For those utilizing traditional methods of sharing samples, this increases the wait time.
For facilities using telepathology, collaboration takes no time at all. Professionals send data to a second pathologist in the same way as the first, and a diagnosis is provided within minutes.
A Pathologist Is Always Available
For OPOs, time is everything. Organs only remain usable for so long, and delays are the difference between life and death.
With telepathology, a professional is always available and ready to provide a diagnosis.
We Have Better Solutions
Did you know that every day approximately 20 people die waiting for an organ?
Digital pathology is the future of medicine, and its quick nature salvages organs to save lives. Contact us today to discuss how your organization’s biopsies can be studied more efficiently.
Together, let’s reduce the number on the national transplant list.