What Exactly is Digital Pathology?

The process of scanning glass slides using a whole slide image scanner and then evaluating the digitised pictures with an image viewer, usually on a computer display or mobile device, is known as digital pathology. An image viewer functions in the same way as a regular light microscope, allowing pathologists to move slides around in the same way. Despite the fact that the standard capabilites is not altered significantly, telepathology has brought various improvements in lab efficiency. 

The practise of pathology employing digital imaging is known as digital pathology. In the discipline of pathology, the use of this innovative technology is on the point of becoming standard of care. Static pictures, live streaming images, and most recently full slide imaging have all been used in digital pathology (WSI). WSI allows for the digitalization of whole glass slides, removing the requirement for pathology practises to be linked to a traditional microscope on a local level.

Telepathology may be used in a variety of therapeutic and nonclinical settings. Primary pathology diagnosis may be made immediately from digital pictures, as well as telepathology, archiving, and image analysis.Proficiency testing, research, and teaching are examples of nonclinical use. Technology restrictions, regulatory impediments, equipment costs, implementation challenges, and pathologist technophobia are all obstacles to the widespread use of digital pathology. Nonetheless, it is expected to become increasingly important in the future practice of pathology.

Digital pathology is a dynamic, image-based system for acquiring, managing and interpreting pathology data from a digitized glass slide.

Healthcare applications include primary diagnosis, diagnostic consultation, intraoperative diagnosis, medical student and resident training, manual and semi-quantitative immunohistochemistry (IHC) evaluation, clinical research, diagnostic decision support, peer review, and tumor boards.

Life Science applications include high-throughput scanning of glass slides, quantitative analysis of entire slide images, real-time web-based consultations with qualified pathologists, and secure preservation of pathology data.

Digital pathology is quickly gaining momentum as a proven and necessary technology, with specific support for education, tissue-based research, medication development, and the practice of human pathology all around the world. It’s a game-changer for cutting laboratory expenses, improving operational efficiency, productivity, and improving treatment decisions and patient care.

Elements of Digital Pathology

Three primary components of the digital pathology ecosystem are:

  1. Information systems,
  2. digital pathology systems (DPS),
  3. and system tools are the
  • An ideal environment is one in which all of these elements operate together to provide a seamless digital workflow.
  • The DPS may connect to enterprise information resources such the hospital information system (HIS), electronic medical record (EMR), laboratory information system (LIS), and radiology image archiving and communication system through the information systems (PACS).
  • The DPS is a digital work environment that allows pixel data to flow from an image collecting equipment (such as a full slide scanner) to the end user’s display (e.g., computer workstation or tablet).
  • The DPS is made up of two interconnected subsystems: a device (such as a whole slide scanner) for acquiring and managing digital pictures, and a workstation (such as a display cockpit) for viewing and/or sharing images.
  • Digital pictures can be studied and altered for a variety of purposes, including computer-assisted diagnostics, using system tools (e.g., image analysis algorithms) that interface with the DPS.
  1. Software

Several firms have created components that may be used to create bespoke digital microscope pictures. Pathologists can pick from a variety of software options available on the market, based on their preferences. This program is designed to help pathologists and researchers solve challenges they confront on a regular basis. Digital pathology software aids in the automated analysis of samples, reducing the likelihood of human mistakes.

  1. System of Storage

In digital pathology, the better the storage system, the better the performance. Next-generation technologies aid the hardware component while also ensuring data storage on the cloud. Scanners for slide imaging might be as large as 2-3 GB. To support an ever-growing store of picture data, additional capacity is still necessary.

  1. Device

Different instruments, including scanners and solutions, are used in digital pathology. There are also several cloud-enabled desktop scanning technologies on the market. It gives you the most control over archiving, storing, and managing digital photographs.

Conclusion

The implementation of digital pathology is becoming increasingly necessary as sophisticated imaging workloads continue to rise. It plays a critical function in enhancing the overall picture of a patient’s specific illness status by offering an additional layer of information.

In the healthcare industry, there is a growing demand for diagnostic information. As a result, health information technology departments must provide a stronger infrastructure for digitizing tissue sample slides.