Healthcare Mergers, Physician Consolidation, and Increased Healthcare Utilization Expected to Increase Medical Cost by 6% in 2019

PwC report indicates deal-making may generate long-term savings, but adds to higher medical costs as hospital systems dominate markets and drive up prices Consolidation of big hospital health networks combined with a loss of independent doctor practices has changed the healthcare landscape in recent years, and clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups have been directly impacted. Now, those trends, along with increased access to care, are expected to push employer medical cost up by...

Stanford University Study Traces Hospital-Acquired Bloodstream Infections to Patients’ Own Digestive Tract

New bioinformatic tool finds gut microbiota may be ‘potential reservoir of bloodstream pathogens’ suggesting patients’ own bodies can be source of infections Clinical laboratories in hospitals and health networks throughout the nation are collaborating in the priority effort to reduce deaths from sepsis and related blood infections. Now comes news that researchers at Stanford have identified an unexpected source of bloodstream infections. This finding may help medical laboratories contribute...

Can Artificial Intelligence Diagnose Skin Cancers More Accurately than Anatomic Pathologists? Heidelberg University Researchers Say “Yes”

New study conducted by an international team of researchers suggests that artificial intelligence (AI) may be better than highly-trained humans at detecting certain skin cancers Artificial intelligence (AI) has been working its way into health technology for several years and, so far, AI tools have been a boon to physicians and health networks. Until now, though, the general view was that it was a supplemental tool for diagnosticians, not a replacement for them. But what if the AI was better...

Canadian Province Solves Biopsy Backlog by Adding Staff and Calling on Pathologists to Help with ‘Gross Examination’ Stage of Biopsy Tests

Physicians in Saskatchewan called for changes after wait times for anatomic pathology test results reached six weeks or more Anatomic pathologist and histopathologist shortages have plagued the single-payer healthcare systems in Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) in recent years. The consequence is increased wait times for physicians in both countries to receive medical laboratory test results, which increases wait times across the entire healthcare continuum. However, one Canadian province...

How DNA Databases Help Investigators Solve Crimes; Will Clinical Laboratories Be Asked to Help?

Studies show consumer genealogy databases are much broader than is generally known. If your cousins are in such a database, it’s likely you are too Recent news stories highlighted crime investigators who used the DNA data in consumer genetic genealogy databases to solve cold cases. Though not widely known, such uses of direct-to-consumer DNA databases is becoming more commonplace, which might eventually lead to requests for clinical laboratories to assist in criminal investigations involving...

Studies Show Potential for Google’s AI Tools to Improve Pathologist Accuracy and Efficiency

Computer-assisted analysis using Google’s LYNA algorithm shows significant gains in speed required to analyze stained lymph node slides and sensitivity of micrometastases detection in two recent studies Anatomic pathologists understand the complexities of reviewing slides and samples for signs of cancer’s spread. Two studies involving a new artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm from Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) claim their “deep learning” LYmph Node Assistant (LYNA) provides increases to both the...