Digital pathology is an important tool that is becoming more and more common. In fact, the global market for digital pathology is expected to more than double between 2018 and 2026!
What is it exactly that is driving the skyrocketing demand for digital pathology? Could digital pathology be useful for you?
Read on to learn all about the benefits of digital pathology and how it is revolutionizing our understanding!
Digital pathology combines whole slide imaging with algorithms. These algorithms can assist researchers in making sense of images. The results can not only be higher quality, but they also arrive faster.
By having a vast and accessible record of previous cases, digital pathology also opens the door for easy long-term analysis. Patterns that might previously have been overlooked can now be detected.
Lower Error Rates
On top of all the telepathology solutions that digital pathology brings to the table, it can also achieve these results while lowering errors as well. Not only does improved analysis mean fewer misidentifications, but digital storage can allow for more robust storage.
In the past, every sample was unique, and breaking or losing a sample meant losing it forever. With telepathology pathology scanners, digital images can be stored on secure computers to protect them from loss. If necessary, the same image can be duplicated 1000 times and stored in many computers to make sure that it is never lost.
Our ability to capture images of frozen sections in high-definition is improving. Digital scanners cannot only capture images more precisely, but they can also allow examination of those images in greater detail. Digital images can be zoomed in on and viewed from various angles.
On top of that, images can be edited to add useful additional information. This might include notes from past researchers that clarify the meaning of different images.
More Efficient Processing
One of the biggest advantages that digital pathology brings to the table is the ability to scale work up. In the past, most labs were the only ones with access to a given sample. Digital pathology allows for samples to be captured in high resolution and shared around the world.
In urgent cases, this means that scientists who are going home at the end of the day can send images off for continued analysis by researchers in another part of the world where it is still daytime. Digital pathology allows for around-the-clock analysis of vital information by the whole world.
There is a certain amount of efficiency that is lost just by having to work in the physical world. Having to physically pick up images and place them in machines for analysis takes time. With digital pathology, the same images can be searched for, identified, and brought up for examination within seconds.
The end result can be that pulling up a particular image might take literally 10 times less time than before.
On top of everything else, digital pathology is much more flexible than past, physical systems. During the covid pandemic, many researchers were able to fully participate in analysis without having to drive to a lab. Without digital pathology, analysis of the 2019 coronavirus would have taken much longer.
Understanding the nature of the virus and developing a vaccine were both facilitated by access to digital pathological tools. In other words, the benefits of digital pathology have probably included many thousands of saved lives.
Better Treatment Results
Of course, that is the ultimate measure of a tool’s usefulness. Does it produce better outcomes? Does it save lives or cure diseases?
Digital pathology has passed this test with flying colors. It has resulted in better patient outcomes for millions of people.
Diagnosis is always a tricky business, and even the best experts can sometimes make errors. In the past, it was also difficult to double-check the assessment of a given expert.
Digital pathology not only allows for algorithmic analysis to double-check human analysis, but it also allows other humans around the world to double-check a given researcher’s analysis.
The end result is better diagnoses and fewer errors. And that means better treatment of disease and faster progression of medical knowledge.
Just the pure speed of digital pathology has also contributed to improved patient outcomes. In some cases, treating a disease is a race against the clock. Just being able to come to conclusions faster means that you can treat a disease before it progresses beyond the point of no return.
On top of that, digital pathology has allowed for the best experts to be accessible to everyone. Samples can be sent instantaneously to experts for their analysis. That is much faster than having to physically ship delicate samples across a country or even the whole world.
Considering that digital pathology provides better results in less time, you might imagine that it also costs more. However, the beauty of this technology is that it provides better results at a lower cost.
In the past, many labs relied on couriers to assist scientists with pathological studies. Digital pathology has made that unnecessary, allowing labs to reduce costs.
Those cost savings can also be used to improve research results. Having extra money to spend means being able to fund more research and provide scientists with the other tools they need to do the best work that they can. All in all, digital pathology ends up improving humanity’s ability to treat diseases in many parallel ways!
Enjoy All of the Benefits of Digital Pathology
We hope that you were able to learn something from this brief article on just some of the benefits of using digital pathology. This powerful tool may be unfamiliar to some, but it can revolutionize research and treatment.
To learn more about what digital pathology can do for you and what it has done for others, you can reach out to us anytime!