94% of Pathologists Agree Digital Pathology Will Become Common Practice

| July 26, 2012

In the mid-1960s, a new slogan was introduced for Trident: "4 out of 5 dentists surveyed would recommend sugarless gum to their patients who chew gum." The phrase is believed to have been based on the results of a survey of practicing dentists with either D.D.S. or D.M.D. degrees, apparently conducted in the early 1960s, whose patients included frequent users of chewing gums; the percentage of respondents to the survey whose responses indicated they would make such references to their patients is believed to have been approximately 80%, rounded off to the nearest full percentage point, of the total number of respondents. It became strongly associated with the Trident brand. As of the last days of May 2010, however, Kraft Foods's Cadbury Adams group was not known to have made any public disclosures of any details about the survey, presumably citing the proprietary nature of the survey data and conclusions as its rationale.

Anyways, didn't you ever wonder who that 1 in 5 or 20% of dentists did not recommend Trident gum to their patients who chew gum?  

Now comes real data from real pathologists in a wide variety of practice settings courtesy of Laboratory Economics recent Digital Pathology Survey Summary.

A survey was e-mailed to approximately 5,000 hospital labs, independent labs and pathology groups this month.  A total of 174 surveys were judged usable, yielding a rate of 3.5%. Survey participants included 58 hospital labs, 18 academic medical centers, 52 independent labs, 14 esoteric reference labs and 32 pathology groups.

31% of respondents claim having a digital pathology system in place with another 20% claiming adding a system within 2 years.  Aperio has a 44% share with Ventana representing 29% of users and 27% claiming "Other". (Click on images to enlarge)

The main uses for digital pathology cited included HER2 scoring, education/training, second opinions/consultations, ER/PR scoring, primary clinical diagnosis, archiving specimens, clinical trials and autopsies.

Note the 20% (with multiple answers allowed by respondents) for Primary clinical diagnosis. A full 1 in 5 current users claim, among other uses, primary clinical diagnosis.  Bravo.  

Reasons respondents cited for lack of adoption and barriers to adoption included cost, microscope meets needs, data/storage concerns, speed, LIS integration (or perhaps lack thereof), reimbursement, limited test menu and time/patience to learn.  Not much new here.  Answers would have been identical 10 years ago. (Click on images to enlarge)



Last, but not least, when asked when will digital pathology become mainstream, specifically "How long before it becomes common practice for primary diagnosis of cancer?" 61% of respondents thought it would be within 10 years.  Another third thinks it will take more than 10 years.  Only 6% think Never.  

Mixed news here.  10 years ago people were saying "10 years" and nearly 2/3 of those people who responded to this survey who are using an Aperio or Ventana already or another system for HER2, ER/PR, education/training/archiving, consults or primary readers, by any account – adopters are thinking 5-10 years for "common practice" and another 33% think longer than that.

I guess I am in the minority if I chose less than 5 years as a pure percentage of repsondents.  The question did not tackle specific use cases but I think 5 years is an easily attainable number for a large number of hospitals, laboratories and groups to adopt the technology with tangible ROI for certain uses, tests or applications.  (Click on image to enlarge)

Someday I think we will wonder who these 6% of pathologists/laboratorians were…


Source (and thanks to): Laboratory Economics for permission to reuse survey information and graphs/images.

Category: Digital Pathology News, Pathology News

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