Adriana Allocato
Adriana Allocato (Research Manager, Health Insights, IDC Europe)

Over the past 20 years, technology has played a key role in disrupting and changing the landscape of pathology by digitalizing traditional analogue processes. Digital pathology offers numerous and evolving opportunities to improve patient safety, pathology workflow, service quality, and workforce factors:

  • Precision of diagnosis. Digital pathology reduces errors in diagnostic pathology and classification and develops methods for personalized medical treatment:
    • High resolution digital slides provide better image quality and more detail for the pathologist
    • Multiple viewing options and the opportunity of comparisons with digital slides from previous cases allows far more accurate and quicker results for patients.
  • More efficient and faster processes. Digital pathology alleviates mind-numbing, tedious, repetitive work:
    • It allows clinicians to focus on the execution of medical treatment for accurately diagnosed diseases.
    • It improves workflow, bringing greater efficiency and scalability in the laboratory environment. Pathologists have rapid access to prior cases with a dashboard view of data and annotations. This reduces time retrieving, data matching, and organizing.
  • Wide-scale collaboration. The availability of a digital histology slide enables distant viewing and remote reporting, which is particularly appealing given demands imposed by COVID-19:
    • Multiple users can access digital images, regardless of location. This enables consultations and bridges physical distance between hospitals, home, and workplaces.
    • Digital pathology offers central storage of data and easy access and facilitates automation.

Key Steps to Transition to a Digital Lab

Nevertheless, the process of embracing digital pathology can transform the organization. It is an innovation committed to the reduction of laboratory expenses, an improvement of operational efficiency, enhanced productivity, and improving treatment decisions and patient care. Thus, healthcare providers that want to incorporate a digital pathology across their digital transformation journey, should:

  • Map out a detailed new workflow comprehensive of the needs in terms of infrastructure and the clinical goals they want to pursue. Identify networking, storage, and security requirements.
  • Assess software vendors and suppliers to determine their ability to provide the functionalities that are most suitable.
  • Consider incorporating a digital pathology system within the overreaching enterprise medical imaging application. The consolidation of IT systems and centralization of integration allows cost cutting. It also enhances collaboration between pathologists and radiologists using a single diagnostic system and the ability to access each other’s reports and images.
  • Regularly monitor defined KPIs to further refine workflows, drive better work experience for pathologists and lab staff, and identify new needs in terms of capabilities, resources, and organization.

 

If you want to learn more about digital pathology for healthcare diagnostics, please read IDC PlanScape: Digital Pathology Systems for Diagnostic Healthcare.

If you have any questions, please contact Adriana Allocato, or head over to https://www.idc.com/eu and drop your details in the form on the top right.

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