Pathology: Is the future Digital?
October 22, 2015
Project Coordinator, The Digital Pathology Congress
The continuing growth and advances in digital pathology solutions are transforming the industry. With wide ranging applications and benefits including: reduction in lab costs; increased workflow efficiency; greater interconnectivity; effective training / education methods; and improved decision making are enabling enhanced patient care. The result is that Digital Pathology is rapidly gaining momentum worldwide. Allied Market Research, the global market research and business consulting wing of Allied Analytics LLP based in Portland, Oregon issued a report which predicted that the global digital pathology market will be valued at $5.7 billion by 2020.
“I THINK DIGITAL PATHOLOGY OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS IS ONLY GOING TO GROW BOTH IN THE RESEARCH SECTOR AND MASSIVELY IN THE CLINICAL SECTOR AS WELL.” – TOM QUICK. PRODUCT SPECIALIST, CARL ZEISS LTD
Paul van Diest, Head of Department, Professor in Pathology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands is also cautiously optimistic. When asked to look into his crystal ball he said that “It’s not so easy to predict what’s going to happen over the next 5 years. We started [introducing digital pathology to our hospital] 6 years ago, and it didn’t go as fast as I predicted then! So I have to be a little bit moderate, but I see that digital pathology is pretty much on the verge of a breakthrough. There is so much interest, no longer just in academic hospitals but also in a lot of regional hospitals … [So] I would dare to predict…that in 5 years’ time, this will be a fairly established piece of technology at least in the Western world, and … I really think we’ll see a breakthrough in clinical practice of this technology.”
Keith Kaplan, Pathologist, Charlotte, NC, USA, with 15 years’ experience of observing the arrival of digital solutions for pathology thinks that the technology is at a tipping point in terms of adoption. In his view the market worldwide is expanding due to the need for efficiencies and workflow given changes in healthcare. The wider adoption of use of digital pathology is predictable because it provides pathologists with more tools in their toolbox to provide better care and improved outcomes. He says “I think these enabling technologies will help all of us deliver better care more efficiently.”
Keith does not predict the end of light microscopy – it is he says “an adjunctive tool to conventional light microscopy techniques, histopathology techniques that pathologists worldwide have done for 150 years.”