Aperio making strides

| March 31, 2011

In January Aperio released Version 11 of their software, Spectrum.  The press release noted:

""Release 11 adds and expands key features of our system that address the needs of pathologists in both clinical and research environments, based on broad usage and feedback from our customers,” said Dirk G. Soenksen, CEO of Aperio. “Through our ongoing development efforts we continue to supply the pathology community with the most comprehensive patent-protected digital pathology solutions available to help inform better patient care decisions.”

Spectrum consolidates pathology cases, projects, specimens and slides into an integrated source with 24/7 anytime access, eliminating the transfer of glass slides, improving efficiency and streamlining pathology workflow and analysis.

Spectrum’s secure, customizable workflow has made it the digital pathology information management solution of choice for leading global institutions including ARUP Laboratories and Memorial Sloan Kettering."

I think this is key to the adoption of digital pathology – tighter integration that is workflow driven and consolidates information.  I have found this to be a problem with past versions of Spectrum that keeps on getting better and better from earlier versions.  One of the keys to success in this space is getting the process as close to looking at a glass slide (for now) to aid adoption.  Additional mouse clicks, multiple screens, applications or poor integration with LIS data will impede mass adoption.

Additionally, Aperio recently launched, in partnership with USCAP an extensive collection from Dr. Juan Rosai, recognized as one of the foremost surgical pathologists of our time.

From the Aperio website: 

This comprehensive collection of Surgical Pathology Seminars (1945 to the present) comprises digital images of original slide material of nearly 20,000 cases originally presented at approximately 1500 pathology seminars. The collection includes clinical history summaries, discussions, and diagnoses by yesterdays authorities with updates and comments by Dr. Rosai and other contemporary experts. Pathologist spanning the globe can access the collection to learn about the evolution of surgical pathology thinking, as described and discussed at pathology society meetings, individual medical centers, and pathology groups over the past 60 years.

Juan Rosai makes freely available to the International pathology community the digital version of this historical collection through a partnership with the USCAP and Aperio.

  • Gain insight into the evolution of surgical pathology thinking
  • Browse original material that led to discoveries of new entities and concept proposals
  • Access case slides, discussion notes, and speaker biographies
  • View updated diagnostic interpretations of the seminar cases
  • Access resource for decision support, self-study, and publications

This is covered on USCAP TV:

I reviewed some of the old cases and the images are excellent, complete with aging cover slip media but nonetheless the diagnostic features are evident on the tissue itself.  The images launched quickly and refreshed quickly within my web browser.  Several cases were scanned at 20x that I thought would be better with 40x scans and several cases with documentation I tried failed to open the pdf.  I presume this has the accompanying clinical information and any follow-up information with supporting literature from the original slide conferences they are a part of but I could not tell.

Recently, the USPTO affirmed Hamamatsu's patent for slide scanning with remote viewing as reported by several news sources.  You may recall in June 2009, Aperio filed suit against Hamamatsu and others.  My understanding is that this issue has been settled by the parties.  

Nonetheless, lawsuits take time and resources away from innovation and I wonder what impact, if any, this patent re-issue may mean for companies such as Aperio and others.  





Category: Digital Pathology News, Pathology News

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