Digital Pathology Imaging: Coming Soon to a Pathology Group near You!
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. As the pathology profession’s first-movers and early adopters, it is these laboratories which set the pace for the entire profession. Their acceptance and growing use of digital imaging and digital pathology systems can be taken as evidence that the current generation of imaging and informatics technologies perform adequately.
However, there is another powerful force propelling digital imaging forward in anatomic pathology. It is the emergence of molecular assays which incorporate digital images and use either computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) or pattern recognition software to help the pathologist make a precise diagnosis. By design, these molecular tests require the pathologist to work from a digital image of the specimen. At The Dark Report‘s second annual Molecular Summit on the Integration of In Vivo and In Vitro Diagnostics, conducted last February in Philadelphia, examples of these types of emerging assays were abundant. (more…)