Going Digital: The "Why's" and "How's" of Adopting Digital Pathology
In recent years, digital pathology has gone from an intriguing idea to an integral part of how academic and commercial labs operate. Join Leica Biosystems and Procia Digital Pathology as they discuss why institutions are going digital today and how they approach best practices in digital implementation. Hear from an adopter of digital pathology about the promise they saw in this technology, how easy it was to implement, and how their work has changed because of adopting it. Learn the exciting potential that digital and computational medicine hold for pathology and discover why now is the time to bring digital pathology into your organization.
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- Learn from industry and lab representatives about the value of adopting digital pathology
- Discover how easy implementation can be by viewing example applications, best practices and important considerations for transitioning to a digital workflow.
- Understand the recent and future changes that digital pathology will bring to the laboratory space.
Evolution of Digital Pathology - (Olga Cogan, Ph.D)
It was around the 1600s that we saw the emergence of microscopy and over the next 300 years we saw huge developments in the imaging but staying predominantly with the same modality of a sample, a light source, and magnification where your microscope, your sample, and your pathologist all have to be in the same place at the same time.
Around the late 1900s we started seeing the emergence of photomicrograph use giving some level of sharing to images, and in the 1980s seeing the emergence of telepathology; being able to remotely review slides in a live view-type scenario. It wasn’t until the turn of the century that we started seeing the emergence of whole slide imaging and the birth of digital pathology. In the last 18 years we’ve seen a technological maturity around digital pathology in the digital pathology-specific solutions with the hardware and the software and also in the infrastructure and the technologies that underpin a digital pathology deployment; things like the processor speeds and servers to be used, the storage costs associated with housing whole slide images and the performance of broadband and increased connectivity and availability. This leads us to a situation where digital pathology today incorporates all these elements of scanning, management, sharing, and interpretation of pathology information in a digital environment.
Market Trends in Pathology
When we look at some of the trends we’re seeing in pathology, we see a decline in practicing pathologists which is predicted to worsen in coming years as many pathologists are reaching retirement age and the positions are not being backfilled at the rate needed globally to cover the pathologist requirement. It is forecasted that there will be a net deficit of almost 6,000 pathologists worldwide by 2030. If we add the increasing and ongoing demands on pathologists and pathology departments with the emergence of new subspecialties and the emergence of new biomarkers and new detection methods, we’re faced with a situation where we’re being asked to do a lot more with a lot less and we need to look at innovative solutions to support that. For many pathology and anatomical pathology departments still using glass slides and paper files it can be a huge challenge when faced with shipping slides between different experts. The innate fragile nature of glass slides doesn’t lend itself to packaging and shipping both from the safety of the sample perspective, but also the time that it will take to ship those slides around.
Leica Biosystems Overarching Strategy
Leica Biosystems looks at the whole pathology workflow taking a holistic systemwide view of pathology from the excision of a biopsy piece of tissue right through to reading out that slide and looks at a fully integrated approach on how to enable control of the whole lab through integrated IT solutions and managing the different steps throughout the process to ensure a standardization and quality, ultimately delivering a perfect glass slide which can then be digitized and reviewed.
There are a lot of pressing economic and social factors at play for people when they’re choosing to go digital; it is about the use case and the problem you’re looking to solve. Digital pathology can support this by being able to implement a fully digital solution where you can open up your laboratory information system and review slides, review your H&E, review your IHC slides from your