Digital Pathology Trends and Innovations

| October 22, 2013

transformatrix3w-1024x682Digital pathology is the work of taking the regular slides and tissue samples which would have gone under the microscope and scanning them into a digital image, which can be viewed on a computer screen for the very best understanding and analysis. This is a booming technology in medical lab work and several compelling trends are driving its expansion. Here are the four most important:

1. A Growing Community
The Digital Pathology Association is making strides at grouping digital pathologists together in order to better share best practices and trends within the industry. Since 2009 it has worked to increase education among its members and awareness of how digital
pathology can best be used in the various medical fields. While not an innovation on its own, the DPA has shown definite potential to organize digital pathologists and their work towards creating more innovations.

2. Veterinary Pathology
Digital pathology is expanding into the veterinary field, as part of the rapidly expanding health care options for pets. Many people love their pets as members of the family and are wanting them to have the best care possible. Veterinary digital pathology takes the slides from animal lab tests and puts them into digital images on a computer just as human lab results are examined, and used to make more conclusive diagnoses. This is a growing trend within the young field of digital pathology and likely to increase in the next few years as more people pay top dollar to keep their four legged family healthy.

transformatrix1W-1024x6823. Cost-Effectiveness Drives Expansion

A number of technological improvements have reduced the costs of digital pathology even as it has increased the quality of the digital images. This means more labs in more countries will begin to rely on digital pathology including European nations and Asian countries. North America is likely to remain the leader in this technology, as those labs have the earliest start on adoption. With the increased global scope the software supporting the images will have to become more adaptive and support more languages, regional regulations, and preferences. It is also becoming more important in the United States due to the Affordable Care Act and the regulatory pressure to reduce costs and ineffective testing.

4. Better Image Analysis
The imaging software and the digitizing slide scanners have been improving in quality, allowing for higher resolution on images. By getting a better look at the samples digital pathologists will be able to better analyze the tissue samples and have more accurate results. Alongside the cost effectiveness this will encourage more labs to use digital pathology and increase the reliance on this technology. This will further drive enhanced image quality because there will be greater demand and a greater need for standing out in front of the competition.

transformatrix2W-1024x682In digital pathology, the reliance on a microscope is transferred to a computerized image with higher resolution and a greater image analysis. In this way, the field of digital pathology has revolutionized how medicine is viewed and understood by labs, but within the field itself there are many trends and changes innovating how this innovative technique works. Those four trends, a growing community, expansion into animal pathology, expansion worldwide, and better image analysis all show how this form of medical laboratory work is becoming more and more critical world-wide.

Jessica Jones writes all about science and careers in the healthcare field. Her recent work is on the Top Online Schools for a Degree in Nursing Education.

Category: Digital Pathology News

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