Updated on 13 July 2016
Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution
Healthcare is perhaps the only sector which remains impervious to technology advancements, though things are changing at a pretty fast speed.
Digital pathology involves the scanning of whole histopathology or cytopathology glass slides into digital images interpretable on a computer screen, along with data management, translates to additional functionalities such as web accessibility, annotations, automated image analysis, and a host of breakthrough applications in the practice of pathology, and health care systems as a whole.
Digital Pathology vs conventional pathology
Traditional pathology workflows have innate delays built into the processes. Transferring unique glass slides runs the risk of loss, and when collaborating with others requires time, which delays diagnostics.
"Digitizing images that are normally viewed through a microscope can help improve the operational efficiency of a lab. Direct access to files can make diagnosis - in particular consults - simpler, more efficient and safer. It lowers barriers for internal and external consults, and can be done more quickly since colleagues can view the same case at the same time. This all can help increase the quality and speed of the lab. Furthermore, a digital workflow is the prerequisite and first important step to unlock the huge potential of future digital analysis in pathology," said Mr Hans Driessen, Marketing & Communications Manager, Philips Digital Pathology Solutions.
Virtual slides can be transmitted from remote locations for review by pathologists and for second opinions. This is even more beneficial in cancer diagnosis. The conventional method involves transportation of the slides to avail the opinion of the experts and this has a direct impact on the time taken for diagnosis.
"Digital pathology has made it easy to obtain second opinions from the experts, across geographies, without transporting slides. This facilitates faster reporting. The only prerequisites are the scanned digital images and a good internet speed! This innovation brings several advantages to all the different stakeholders associated with an anatomic pathology lab. Pathologists can provide faster consultation and diagnosis, while clinicians see a faster turnaround time for referrals. The histotechnologists benefit due to the improvement in efficiency on account of reduced glass slide movement," said Dr Sandeep Sewlikar, Head - Medical & Scientific Affairs, Roche Diagnostics India.