Five years ago at the United States and Canadian Association of Pathology (USCAP) annual meeting, I was working for one of two slide scanner manufacturers exhibiting in a small booth trying to gain exposure and sell systems. A few years later, there were four or five companies, and this year there were SIXTEEN companies exhibiting digital pathology hardware and/or software solutions. For the small group of people who have been in this industry for a long time, it’s amazing to see how far the field has evolved. Here are a few of my digital pathology highlights from USCAP ’10.
A Step Forward
WG-26 met on March 20th to finalize Supplement 145, Whole Slide Imaging for Pathology, for submission to WG-6 who coordinates all changes to DICOM. On March 25th, WG-6 approved the supplement, and it will go out to letter ballot within the next two weeks for a 49 day voting period. Assuming a successful outcome, DICOM for whole slide images will be finalize this summer. Many thanks to WG-26 for all of their hard work over the past five years as this standard will improve data management, interoperability, and workflow within pathology.
Several new companies were at USCAP this year offering digital pathology solutions including Leica, Philips, Motic, CRi and MikroScan Technologies. Laboratory Information Systems (LIS) and middleware companies were highlighting integration with digital pathology companies increasing interoperability for pathology departments. In addition, numerous reference and contract laboratories were demonstrating their use of digital pathology to stay competitive and allow earlier and flexible access to images and their data. Lastly, current market leaders Aperio, Bioimagene, Olympus, and 3DHistech were demonstrating impressive portfolios of hardware, software, and workflow solutions in their large, expanded booths.
If you visited the exhibit hall and met with any digital pathology companies, likely you were looking at whole slide images on a Barco diagnostic display. I recently posted about diagnostic displays, and how they could play a key role in the future of digital pathology, and it was nice to see the industry support and response to diagnostic displays.
Whether it was during sessions, reviewing posters, walking the exhibit hall, or in conversations with colleagues; digital pathology was definitely a hot topic. With all this excitement and advancement I cannot wait to see where we are next year, and to see who else will jump on the bandwagon!