Digital pathology is an image-based information environment that is enabled by computer technology to allow for the management of information generated from a digital slide. It is enabled in part by virtual microscopy, which is the practice of converting glass slides into digital slides that can be viewed, managed, and analyzed on a computer monitor. With the advent of whole-slide imaging, the field of digital pathology has exploded and is currently regarded as one of the most promising avenues of diagnostic medicine to achieve even better, faster and cheaper diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of cancer and other important diseases.
Digital pathology also holds the promise of interconnecting pathologists around the globe in ways that will advance diagnostic accuracy and improve patient outcomes.
In pathology, trained pathologists look at tissue slides under a microscope. The tissue on those slides may be subjected to staining to highlight structures. When those slides are digitized, they then have the potential to be numerically analyzed using computer algorithms. Algorithms can be used to automate the manual counting of structures, or for classifying the condition of tissue such as is used in grading tumors.
This could reduce human error and improve accuracy of diagnoses. Digital slides are also, by nature, easier to share than physical slides. This increases potential for using data for education and consultations between two or more experts.
In April, the US Food and Drug Administration approved for marketing the Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution (PIPS), the first whole slide imaging (WSI) system that allows for review and interpretation of digital surgical pathology slides prepared from biopsied tissue. It was the first time the FDA permitted the marketing of a WSI system for these purposes.
Thus the high cost of implementing this technology is slowing adoption of these systems by smaller private pathology groups. It is estimated that around 1,000 pathology labs worldwide own and use digital pathology systems on a regular basis.
Smaller organizations often believe they must engage in full adoption, which means digitizing all cases and every glass slide, then reading all the images on a monitor. Partial adoption is also possible, though, and new technology is expected to allow smaller pathology groups to go digital via a cloud-based pathologist workflow solution.
Fujifilm Buys Inspirata’s Digital Pathology Assets
CEO SUMMARY: Fujifilm’s acquisition of the digital pathology technologies and clients of Inspirata marks the departure of one early entrant into the digital pathology market. At the same time, executives from Fujifilm Healthcare Americas Corporation discuss why the company is incr…
New CPT Codes Debut for Digital Pathology Services
CEO SUMMARY: New digital pathology CPT codes took effect Jan. 1. Because the new codes are designated as Category III, they are not subject to Medicare and private payer reimbursement yet. Instead, federal health officials will monitor the use of the new codes in 2023 to determine h…
Eight Macro Trends for Clinical Labs in 2023
CEO SUMMARY: Laboratory administrators and pathologists will want to carefully study eight important trends that will guide their business strategies in 2023. Many of these macro trends center on financial and operational difficulties and ways to steer around these obstacles. Anothe…
AI Fuels New Efforts in Computational Pathology
CEO SUMMARY: Computational pathology combines technology and data science to improve laboratory medicine. Mayo Clinic is exploring how this new model can improve productivity and diagnostic accuracy in ways that even labs at smaller hospitals can put into practice. Success will stem…
Shortage of Pathologists a Factor in Adoption of Digital Pathology
WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, it is now recognized that the demand for surgical pathologists exceeds the available supply. There are more vacant positions than qualified applicants to fill them. The question yet to be answered is when this shortage of patho…
First Digital Path AI Tool Cleared for Market by FDA
CEO SUMMARY: In a first for the anatomic pathology profession, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared for market a digital pathology image analysis product intended to aid pathologists in the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Developed by New York City-based Paige, the Paige…
Paige’s Digital AI Tool Aids in Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
CEO SUMMARY: Study data provided to the FDA “demonstrated increased diagnostic accuracy” when pathologists used the Paige Prostate system, said Paige’s Medical Director. The artificial intelligence-powered pathology image analysis tool is trained to help pathologists detect ev…
Digital Pathology Image Service Delivers AI via the Internet
IN GERMANY, AN EMERGING DIGITAL PATHOLOGY (DP) COMPANY has introduced a novel feature that could be a low-cost way for pathology groups to access artificial intelligence (AI) for digital image analysis. This would appeal to pathologists who may be reluctant to invest the substantial cost and time req…
UK Hospitals to Deploy AI to Speed Prostate Cancer Diagnoses
SEEKING TO SPEED UP THE PRODUCTION OF TEST RESULTS for men suspected of having prostate cancer, six hospitals in the United Kingdom (UK) will get funding to determine if artificial intelligence (AI) can diagnose prostate cancer quicker and more accurately than pathologists….
Proscia Lands Major Deals as Digital Pathology Demand Grows
EVEN AS THE WORLDWIDE COVID-19 PANDEMIC DERAILED SOME INDUSTRIES, it gave a major boost to digital pathology. That has meant an expanding market for Proscia, a seven-year-old provider of digital and computational pathology solutions. Established in 2014, Proscia recently won …
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