Little cost benefit ratio exists for telepathology as much as it does for other telemedicine specialities. What data does exist suggests a very high return with using telepathology whether it is for primary diagnosis or secondary consultation. Several models include decreased time spent traveling to remote sites, expanding reach of subspecialty services and risk management with the use of real-time teleconsultation. I presume with increased adoption of the digital pathology these types of studies will continue to show the financial benefits of digital pathology for teleconsultation.
Here is a synopsis of a study from the ER literature and what the investigators found.
"Research shows up to 70% of children's emergency room visits are actually for non-emergency problems. That's a lot of time and money wasted for both parents and hospital staff. A visit to the ER can cost seven times more than a trip to a doctor's office for the same problem. Now, there's a new way to see the doctor, that makes life easier.
Dr. Kenneth McConnochie, General Pediatrician at the University of Rochester Medical Center claims telemedicine significantly reduces visits to the emergency room. He found close to a 24% reduction in emergency department use through telemedicine.
Telemedicine assistants gather information, take pictures and even record lung sounds of sick kids at selected day care centers and schools. It's all sent online to a doctor in your city. A telemedicine visit is done pretty quickly, usually within five minutes.
Researchers said after the program started, absence from day care centers due to illness dropped more than 60%. 96% of visits that come to doctors by telemedicine from day care and schools can be diagnosed and treated exclusively through the system. The other 4 percent require additional testing, hands-on examination or emergency services."