Trend to Acquire and Use Digital Pathology Technology is Still in Earliest Stages
Anatomic pathology laboratories continue to purchase and deploy digital pathology systems at a brisk rate. It is confirmation that ever more pathologists are ready to adopt and use digital pathology systems.
Evidence in support of the digital pathology trend comes from a recent press release by one of the leading firms in this field. On December 15, 2010, Aperio Technologies, Inc. announced that it now has more than 700 digital pathology systems operating in 30 countries.
The remarkable thing about this statistic is that it took Aperio just 32 months to nearly double the number of its digital pathology systems used worldwide. For pathologists tracking the acceptance of digital pathology, this is a reassuring sign. It suggests that digital pathology technology is becoming ever more robust.
Steady Growth in Acceptance by Pathology Laboratories
In May of 2008, Aperio issued a press release announcing the opening of a new operation center in Brisbane, Australia. In that release, Aperio also stated that it had “an installed base of more than 375 systems in 25 countries.” In less than three years, Aperio doubled the number of digital pathology systems installed and in use worldwide.
Aperio, based in Vista, California, has customers in different segments of healthcare and research. It says that users of its digital technology products range from hospitals and reference labs to research facilities, pharma/biotech companies, and educational institutions. Aperio says that the number of healthcare organizations that own and operate one of its digital pathology products totals 500.
Ongoing Advancements in Digital Pathology Technology Expected
Early leaders, as measured by the number of products sold and in use, are Aperio and BioImagene, Inc. of Sunnyvale, California. In fact, Dark Daily readers will recall that Roche Holdings (PINK:RHHBY) recently paid $100 million to acquire BioImagene. (See Dark Daily, “Roche Fuels the Digital Pathology ‘Gold Rush’ by Paying $100 Million to Acquire BioImagene”, August 24, 2010.) That is another credible vote of confidence in the future of digital pathology.
More evidence that digital pathology has a bright future is the expansion in the number of companies that are bringing digital pathology systems and products to market. A partial list would include, alphabetically, and with apologies to any company not listed:
- Apollo PACS , Inc., Falls Church, Virginia
- Aurora MSC, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- CRi, Inc., Woburn, Massachusetts
- McKesson Horizon Anatomic Pathology, San Francisco, California
- Olympus VS110, Center Valley, Pennsylvania
- Omnyx, LLC, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Orchard Pathology, Carmel, Indiana
- PathView Progeny AP, Anna, Texas
- Philips Digital Pathology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
- Sunquest CoPathPlus, Tucson, Arizona
- 3DHISTECH Ltd., Ramsey, New Jersey
It should be pointed out that, at this time, total worldwide sales of digital pathology systems do not exceed much more than 1,000 to 1,500 systems, exclusive of digital slide scanners. This number represents only a small percentage of the developed world’s clinical pathology laboratories. But the number is a useful benchmark that pathologists can use to track the adoption of digital pathology.