Last month the folks at Mikroscan paid our group a visit to show us their latest scanner. This new recently released scanner launched shortly after their first generation model has several improvements on an already solid platform. For starters, it is 40% smaller than their "larger" desktop model facilitating placement even in the tightest offices and laboratory workspaces. Secondly, the device produces no noise during scanning.
A 15 x 15 mm piece of tissue was scanned in 20x in well under 2 minutes.
One of the most impressive features about the device is the ability to look at the same slide and the same time with very short scan times (less than 30 seconds) for the remote viewer.
One of the many value propositions for digital pathology remains telepathology. The simple, time tested and often used clinical business practice of looking at the same slide at the same time with either a sub-specialist and/or trusted colleague that is done routinely in the analog world can be done at greater distances with telepathology.
Digital pathology and devices such as Mikroscan's scanner provides for the device to be placed within the pathologist's workspace, thus facilitating workflow and optimizing the experience for both the sending and receiving pathologist.
Imagine having a case that needs someone else's eyes and on your desk is a scanner that can create a digital slide and present those images very quickly to another person. The images, as frequent readers from an earlier post (see: Mikroscan images to be seen) may recall I thought highly of the images (as well as the viewer interface) while other options exist for the viewing as well.
This is not to say that you can eliminate or should not consider the other 4 slide, 5 slide or several hundred slide scanners on the market today. You should. But I also think that pathologist's should consider a lower capacity, desktop device as well, particularly for remote frozen sections, isolated pathologists that rely on courier models for second opinions or where the opportunity exists for subspecialty consultation within a group or as an extramural consultation.
More extensive adoption of digital pathology will rely on a basic premise that may be met with a Mikroscan device: Cost-effective solutions that produce high quality images readily and consistently.
I think that the use cases in pathology are unique enough and individual enough to recognize a need and a market for both lower as well as higher capacity scanners to meet our day-to-day needs.
Check out Mikroscan for more details.