*Techcyte, based in Utah, USA, has led the cellular digital pathology revolution since 2013 by combining the knowledge and skills of a lab professional or pathologist with the latest deep learning technologies to provide the healthcare industries with digital diagnostic solutions. *
Techcyte started a project with the animal health giant Zoetis in 2019 to design and implement an AI-backed solution for screening parasites in canine and feline fecal samples. Techcyte and Zoetis were introduced to Grundium in late 2019 and the puzzle pieces fell in place to integrate the Grundium scanner into the Zoetis Vetscan IMAGYST product.
“Grundium has incredible engineers that are super easy to work with!” said Ben Cahoon, CEO of Techcyte. “Not only has Grundium created something unique in the market, with a beautifully designed small-footprint scanner, but you also have a super technical team that can work really close together to make the whole solution seamless. It is fun to see something complex that takes the region of interest, focus layers, and streaming upload and makes that easy for the end user.” Ben talks enthusiastically about future projects together with Grundium: “With Grundium, Techcyte will focus on clinical and remote opportunities where image quality needs to be high and the whole experience has to be super simple.”
Ben is keen on making the workflow at hospitals and clinics seamless to keep the switch from analogue to digital pathology from becoming overwhelming to the user. “The whole process from extracting the sample, to preparing it on a slide, to scanning it, to examining and diagnosing it must be made easy. The technicians can’t be expected to learn multiple user interfaces to complete a job.” Techcyte’s solution for Zoetis, Vetscan IMAGYST is a prime example of how the process can be made simple and quick by good and thorough design. Read more about how the Grundium Ocus®40 scanners are used in companion animal healthcare by Zoetis and Techcyte here: https://grundium.com/blogs/remote-imaging-at-satellite-clinics-and-centralized-diagnosis
Techcyte splits digital pathology into two categories, anatomic pathology, focused on tissue and clinical pathology that focuses on anything liquid, cellular, and smearable. Because most people in the industry associate digital pathology with histology, Techcyte has coined the term digital diagnostics. Techcyte is focused on digital diagnostics because histology has been slow-to-adopt AI solutions. Labs that focus on blood, fecal, cervical cytology and bacteriology are looking for AI solutions that increase their accuracy and efficiency today, not years in the future.
Ben sees the market starting to demand AI-based solutions. “There’s more of a need for clinical digital diagnostics in fecal, urine, blood, pap, etc.; Clinical pathology is more cost-effective for a lab with the right equipment to deliver accurate results fast. A scanner plus AI will give a lab higher accuracy more efficiently and that’s what matters to them.”
Techcyte sees cytopathology well on par in technology and technical development. “Getting the regulatory part approved in clinical digital diagnostics rests on the AI companies and device manufacturers. We’re already in clinical studies and expect to submit a clearance application on blood testing in the fall of 2021. The FDA generally responds in 90 days to, so by the end of this year we should know if we’ll have a 510k clearance” says Techcyte CEO Ben Cahoon. “The future of digital diagnostics is looking very good. In the next five years we’ll be automating tests. In phase one we’ll take a sample and automate the examination. In the next phases we’ll gradually keep weeding out the samples that you don’t have to look at, the easy positives and easy negatives. The pathologists will be able to focus on an ever smaller number of slides, the really difficult cases. Eventually AI will be able to read better than humans do, but that could be decades away.
To create seamless solutions that can make a transformative impact it takes a collaboration of hardware and software. “This is why we value the Techcyte and Grundium partnership because we’ve together created that seamless workflow where you just press “scan” and it’s integrated with their LIS and patient information system, a scanner, AI and you get a result back in about 10 minutes!”
Contact Grundium for a personal demo of the world’s most practical and integrable microscope scanners, the Ocus® series: firstname.lastname@example.org