During the fall meeting season while I attended CAP, Pathology Informatics and Pathology Visions over the past couple of months, I had numerous discussions with folks about the lack of a "killer app" for digital pathology. While Omnyx and Philips have high capacity high throughput devices, their use may be limited to large medical centers and perhaps large community practices. Aperio has always had lower volume scanning with more limited capacity. BioImagene's suite of offerings allows for low or high volume scanning.
However, no one has produced a desktop-sized (one that can literally fit on top of your desk) with decent scan times and image quality to allow for those quick remote consults, ability to save that "great case" easily or scan on the fly for upcoming education and management purposes.
Most devices to date have been centered around the histology lab rather than the pathologist's office. Scanning is often times centralized, outside the pathologist's direct view or limited to a single pathologist's office. The devices take up space, need people to provide care and feeding of the scanner and despite "walk away" promises need a pair of eyes to ensure the scanning is occuring properly.
No one has created the "killer app" or "iPad for digital pathology" that could be user centric rather than lab centric or institution centric. Costs and resources without proven ROI have inhibited widespread adoption in the clinical space. The power of digital pathology has eluded direct contact with pathologist's unlike their microscopes and PCs. No "killer app".
Victor Casas who heads up their product development team was kind enough to reply with a comment on the post and wrote "The MikroScan D2 is small, easy to learn, easy to maintain, fast to acquire good images, and affordable. Prices starts in the mid $30,000 range for a complete system with scanner, Acquisition PC loaded with software, and Internet Viewer with unlimited views for your image server."
The footprint and overall size from the images I saw look comparable to a Brother HL-2240 laserjet printer I just picked up for our kitchen PC that can fit inside a pull out cabinet. In otherwords, the smallest slide scanner I have come across. If something comparable can fit in a kitchen cabinet, it will likely fit in most pathologists' offices, even the most cluttered. Just remove the bulkier printer which is becoming obsolete anyways with document scanning and shared document managment.
So, for around 30000 bucks, a personal scanner with decent scan time and image quality. Perfect for frozen section rooms, rural hospitals, one man shops, distributed signouts, offsite labs, private labs with need to share cases across remote facilities, tumor boards, management conferences and an entry point for education and research incorporated within the pathologists' workspace and workflow. That covers about every scenario for nearly any practicing pathologist.
This is not to say you or your practice environment may need this alone; it may still require a solution that covers scanning 100s or thousands of slides from coverslipper to integrated signout but now the option also exists for the personal equivalent as well for on the fly scanning and ad hoc scanning at a reasonable price point.
True Desktop Scanner for Whole Slide Imaging – Unmatched Ease of Use
- Complete turnkey solution
- Capable of scanning two 25×75 mm slides
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- Real-time live remote imaging
- Automatic tissue identification, or manual region select
- Auto Axis Array focusing
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- Low profile, only 7.5 inches tall (19 cm)
- Includes Q-Skan scanning software and custom computer platform*
- Remote Pathology
- Clinical Pathology
- Surgical Pathology
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- Many more…