News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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Digital Pathology News

Meet the Virtual Dermatopathology Laboratory, Doing Global Business From Boston

November 20, 2009

Second opinion dermpath business combines digital pathology, glass slides, and the Internet.

Telepathology, Federal Express, and internet technologies are the cornerstones of a flourishing second opinion business by dermatopathologists in Boston, Massachusetts. In just a few years, the practice has built a national and international clientele. This confirms that there is already overseas demand for access to expert pathologists with subspecialty skills.

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Teaching “Best Practices” in Pathology Group Practice Management

November 6, 2009

Essential to protect pathology reimbursement with skilled management

Despite a slow economy, new technology continues to flood into anatomic pathology. These two contradictory forces make it essential for pathologist business leaders and their practice administrators to respond appropriately to preserve reimbursement and maximize the compensation of pathologists in the group.

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Hematology on a Chip: University of Southampton Develops POC Blood Analysis

October 19, 2009

Point-of-care blood cell analysis in doctor’s offices could soon be much faster and more convenient. In conjunction with Philips Research, a team of researchers at England’s University of Southampton is developing a miniaturized cell analysis device with the  goal of eventually delivering a low cost, high speed, and inexpensive system to perform CBCs (complete blood counts) in point-of-care settings.

The team recently developed a microfluidic single-cell impedance cytometer with the ability to execute a white cell differential count. A microchip within the cytometer uses microfluidics to assess various cells in the blood. The electrical properties of the blood cells are assessed while the blood actually flows through the chip.

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Pathology’s Most Intrepid Computer Nerds Are Busy and Innovative

September 23, 2009

Helping pathologists go “all digital” is the vision of these informaticians

DATELINE: PITTSBURGH—Lots of news and exciting developments have been showcased at this week’s gathering of pathology informatics gurus and innovators here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The occasion is the 14th annual Advancing Practice, Instruction, and Innovation in Informatics (APIII) and your Dark Daily editor is here to participate and make a presentation.

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Introducing “Pathology 2.0” as a Transformational Factor in Surgical Pathology

September 15, 2009

Pathologists will soon be practicing in an information-rich environment

“Pathology 2.0” is the term coined by one pathologist at the Mayo Clinic to describe how a multitude of informatics innovations will transform the clinical and operational relationships pathology laboratories have with physicians, patients, and payers. Pathology 2.0 describes the interactive functions associated with “Web 2.0.”
Meet Keith Kaplan, M.D., Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.   Kaplan has a unique view of how Web 2.0 capabilities will underpin added value services in anatomic pathology.

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Three Trends Now Fueling Wider Adoption of Digital Pathology

August 24, 2009

Upcoming Pathology Visions conference will tackle digital pathology advances

Digital pathology is entering a new phase of adoption marked by three significant trends. This is the assessment of Dirk Soenksen, Founder and CEO of Aperio Technologies, Inc., in Vista, California. He believes these three trends are working together to accelerate the adoption of digital imaging and digital pathology systems by pathology laboratories across the nation.

Soenksen has observed the following three trends in recent months…

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At University of Kansas, Radiologist and Pathologist Improve Diagnostic Concordance

August 12, 2009

Use of digital pathology imaging allows both specialists to jointly review cases

In a pioneering effort at The University of Kansas, a radiologist and a pathologist are working side by side to review each other’s primary images and issue an integrated diagnostic report for breast cancer patients. The big surprise from this groundbreaking collaboration is a measurable improvement in diagnostic accuracy, leading to improved patient outcomes.

By reaching across the traditional silos that separate the daily practice of radiology from the daily practice of pathology, these two specialists have demonstrated that the concept of diagnostic integration of in vivo (imaging) and in vitro (pathology) diagnostics can demonstrably improve patient care. In part, this happens because of improved concordance in the reports issued by the radiologist and the pathologist.

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Digital Pathology Moves Forward with Two New Digital Imaging Products

July 31. 2009

Aperio Technologies and Applied Spectral Imaging announce new products in July

Two new digital imaging products launched this month show that vendors are advancing the capabilities of digital imaging and digital pathology systems. Each company’s new product announcement touts the value of computer-aided diagnosis and computer pattern recognition for anatomic pathologists.

On July 9, Aperio Technologies, Inc., of Vista, California, launched its Digital IHC Solution for immunohistochemistry that features integrated image analysis for quantification of breast cancer. Aperio says that this is the only commercially available FDA-cleared system that allows pathologists to run quantitative IHC image analysis while reading slides on a computer monitor.

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Pathologists Soon to say Sayonara to Glass Slides!

March 26 2009

Will pathologists soon say “sayonara” to glass slides? Plenty of smart money already bets the answer to that question is “yes”! Every pathologist in the United States and abroad should be watching developments in whole slide imaging and digital pathology systems. That’s because digital pathology imaging is a trend with momentum-and it also has the potential to be disruptive, although probably not in the short term.

One powerful sign that digital imaging in pathology is ready to go mainstream is the take-up of digital imaging solutions and digital pathology systems by leading pathology laboratories in the United States and developed countries across the globe. These are academic and tertiary center pathology labs, along with major private pathology companies.

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New Technologies and New Science Poised to Reshape Anatomic Pathology

March 16 2009

Changes to profession are working their way into the clinical marketplace

Despite rapid advances in many areas of diagnostic services, most pathologists practicing in community hospitals continue to enjoy a familiar daily routine that has varied little over the past decade. That is about to quickly change, if Dark Daily’s assessment of new technologies and new market forces is accurate.

At least four powerful forces are poised to radically alter the daily workflow and activities of surgical pathologists in community practice settings.

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Multi-Modality Diagnostics Is Goal of Innovative Health Informaticians

February 3 2009

Off the radar screen of most pathologists and radiologists is an effort by health informaticians to create new diagnostic tools that use the latest computer technology. What distinguishes these current development programs from those of earlier years is that today’s software is capable of incorporating digital images with other types of clinical information.

This research field opens a path to multi-modality diagnosis that is not rooted exclusively in pathology or radiology settings. To the contrary, these are IT wonks working independently. They want to create a software program capable of making an accurate diagnosis. Their software engines are designed to use a wide variety of clinical data.

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Pathologist and Radiologists Head toward a Collision… or Will It Be a Collaboration!

January 27 2009

How much longer will anatomic pathologists spend the majority of their time in a quiet office, viewing glass slides through a microscope? Will radiologists and pathologists soon collaborate on diagnosing the patient and jointly releasing an integrated patient report to the referring physician?

Should you think these scenarios are several years into the future, you may be surprised to learn that first-mover pathology groups and radiology groups are in the earliest stages of fully-digital (non-glass) pathology and collaborative diagnosis/patient reporting. These pathologists and radiologists will tell you that this is an exciting time and they are advancing patient care because of these innovations.

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UnitedHealth Launches Web-Based Patient Health Record Service, to Compete Against Google and Microsoft

December 26, 28

On December 1, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) unveiled its solution. This is an upgraded web-based service that allows consumers to create and manage their own digital health record (DHR).

It’s widely accepted that conversion of medical records to digital format could improve medical outcomes and reduce healthcare costs dramatically. One unexpected development on that road to the universal electronic medical record (EMR) has been the well-financed efforts of companies like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to offer digital personal health records (PHRs) to consumers via sophisticated Web sites. Now comes the major health insurer, UnitedHealth, with its DHR offering for consumers.

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Convergence of In Vivo Imaging and Digitized Pathology Is Under Way

October 3 2008

Three factors are driving the development of imaging systems in pathology. First, the market for digital pathology imaging systems has accelerating momentum as pathology labs acquire and use this technology. Second, the same factors that drove acceptance of digital radiology systems are encouraging wider use of digital pathology solutions. Third, digital imaging systems hold great promise for pathologists, radiologists, oncologists, and other medical professionals seeking to improve the accuracy and timeliness of diagnostics.

“The fields of imaging and informatics in medicine are on the cusp of fusion with the fields of molecular medicine, pathology imaging, and radiology imaging,” said Michael Becich, M.D., Ph.D

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Innovative Labs Combining Lean and Automation in Clever Ways

August 21 2008

There’s a hot new trend emerging among a handful of the nation’s more sophisticated and tightly-managed laboratories. These innovators have hit on a “lab operation home run!” They are combining Lean process improvement methods with the latest-generation automation solutions and highly-automated analyzers. As a result, they are achieving mind-blowing, amazingly fast turnaround times while simultaneously boosting med tech productivity and slashing operational costs. At the same time, such labs are avoiding the pitfall of “automating bad work practices.”

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THE DARK REPORT Digital Imaging Articles:

FDA Advisory Panel Convenes To Assess Whole Slide Digital Imaging

November 2, 2009

Editor’s Note: Guest writer Martin Perry attended the FDA’s advisory panel on digital pathology conducted earlier this month. He is CEO of The Perry Group and has extensive experience in imaging and healthcare. He offers his insights from the FDA proceedings ondigital pathology imaging.

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Scripps’ Tumor Board Finds Value in Digital Imaging of Slides

October 12, 2009

Surprise Hit with Other Participating Physicians

CEO SUMMARY: When the Pathology Department at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California, was considering the purchase of a digital imaging system, it gained unlikely allies. Non-pathologist physicians participating in the department’s tumor boards advocated for the purchase after seeing a demonstration. Pathologists at Scripps are preparing for a future in which digital imaging systems will encourage more interaction with referring physicians. These systems also could foster a move away from batch processing in pathology and toward real-time continuous flow.

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