Advancements in the care of cancer patients has made great strides with the advent of digital pathology. Continue reading to learn more!
There is a 38% chance you will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in your life.
However, as technology advances, the chances of survival are steadily increasing. In 2016, there were 15.5 million cancer survivors. That number will increase to 20.3 million by 2020.
What is driving this increase in survival? One of the answers is digital pathology.
Curious to know more? We’ll take you through the basics of this new form of pathology and explain just how beneficial it is to cancer patients around the world.
What Is Digital Pathology?
Pathologists are in high demand. In Africa, there is only one pathologist for every 1.5 million people, and in America, pathologists are retiring faster than they are replaced.
Until recently, pathology was limited to glass slides or samples mailed to professionals for diagnosis and study. The process was costly, complicated and precarious.
Digital pathology eliminates the need for slide shipments. Instead, it collects the images and data that would once have been sent in the mail and transfers the information to a digital format.
Remote pathologists receive the information, review the data and analyze the samples.
How Is It Used in Treating Cancer?
For cancer patients especially, digital pathology has offered new and exciting prospects.
Detecting and Diagnosing Quicker
Because samples no longer need to be mailed to a pathologist, the process of detecting and diagnosing cancer is faster.
Diagnosing using the digital standards takes about the same amount of time as microscopic diagnosing. However, the turnaround time (the time it takes for the analyzed data to be returned to the hospital or office) decreases by at least 10% according to studies. That rough estimate amounts to an additional 350 cases a pathologist can study in a year.
The efficient pace allows primary oncologists to contact patients quicker to begin treatment.
Personalized Target Medicine
Digital pathology makes it possible to connect teams across the world, who can work together in real-time to share ideas. Consequently, this knowledge transfers to the patient’s treatment.
Doctors work together to evaluate the best method for the patient’s unique circumstances.
Image Analysis Tests
Some image analysis tests are not possible on glass slides, but they are on digital replications. Computers analyze and predict outcomes of treatment using algorithms. Likewise, they can predict the course of a specific cancer.
Research for Cures
Possibly most exciting, the image analysis, predictions and ease of storing information makes oncological research promising.
In the UK, government officials are pushing to invest money in digital pathology for this purpose. If information can be sent to England’s Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset, which compiles all reported cases, it will bolster extensive and productive research. Similar efforts within US organizations can pave the way for future cures.
Creating a Healthier Future
Digital pathology is the future of medicine, and advancements have the ability to create a healthier world.
To take advantage of everything telepathology has to offer, contact us. Our team of certified professionals is on-hand to interpret samples within one hour every day of the year.
Using the technology we are gifted with, we can make a difference for thousands of individuals.