Digital pathology is evolving ever faster. Attila György, Sales Director at Grundium, a pioneer of personal slide imaging, talks about three key trends and looks into the future of digital pathology.
Digital pathology is evolving from an occult ritual of a select few elders to a readily available commodity for all. The speed of development is picking up, as ever faster evolving technology is changing the world as an all-encompassing megatrend. Changes in hardware and software, and in the general process of slide imaging are creating a path towards the democratization of pathology. We look at three key trends in digital pathology with Attila György, Sales Director at Grundium, makers of the portable digital slide scanner Ocus.
- Most of current research in digital pathology is focused on software. Medical software development is huge and heavily competed. Artificial intelligence is taking over parts of the diagnostic process, such as filtering out predetermined components and picking out set anomalies or features. In this way AI can take care of the manual labour or remove the error-prone human component from the equation.
- Hardware will evolve. While AI and an automated diagnosis is definitely happening, current hardware is still mostly the size of a refrigerator, costs an arm and a leg, and is a right chore to boot up and operate. Creating more, or faster or better software won’t solve that problem. Hardware must step up to match the advances in diagnostic software.
- The workflow in pathology will evolve. The current global pool of pathologists can’t sustain the growing need for tissue analysis brought on by population growth. Being tied to a stationary scanner in a specific room at select hospitals is a big problem. The core of the problem is not the number of slides to be processed, but the time and location of the need for scanned images! Today, pathologists still wait for a number of scanning jobs to accumulate before starting the process. This is a luxury the growing number of needed diagnoses worldwide cannot afford.
“The basis for everything is there needs to be an image to process”, Attila says. Whether that image is processed by software or by a trained human eye isn’t the issue. Pathologists must be freed from a specific physical location. Attila compares digital pathology to telecommunication: “Remember how many people scoffed at mobile phones twenty-five years ago? How many people said, there is no need to be available for a call anytime, anywhere? Now everybody understands the benefits and smartphones have changed the communication of our species!” Attila expects the same development in pathology. Not everybody even accepts digital pathology now, but the benefits of digital images, instantly shareable across the world, ready to be examined by the best experts anywhere, are just too important to ignore.
Attila talks about “democratizing pathology”. With new technology, such as the Ocus portable personal whole slide scanner, pathology is made available for all. With modern hardware, small, affordable and portable, digital pathology is no longer confined to the way things have always been done. Without a need to scan hundreds of slides the workflow changes – portability and mobility will change the speed and agility with which diagnoses are made and pathology itself will be available to a surgeon, regardless of where the pathologist is located physically.
The future is looking sharp for digital pathology.
Sales Director Attila György, firstname.lastname@example.org
CEO Mika Kuisma, email@example.com
Tampere-based Grundium is a global leader in advanced imaging technology. The company’s cutting-edge camera solutions are based on over 20 years of experience in optics, sensors and processing. The company has produced high quality imaging solutions serving various industries and companies to enhance quality and processes, protect human life and safeguard a clean environment. The company was established in 2015 by ex-Nokia engineers and employs 15 professionals.