Digital Pathology is innovation. Digital Pathology make changes to something established (ie. pathology) by introducing new methods, ideas, and products. At USCAP last week there were examples all over the exhibit hall of digital pathology being used with other types of innovation including mobile devices, cloud computing, Software As A Service (SAAS), and methods to improve the pathologists workstation experience.
iPads, iPads, and more iPads!
I recently blogged about the iPad trend in healthcare (see post iPad Deployment In Healthcare to Reach 70% In 2011). This trend was reinforced by the number of iPads in use at USCAP. The Information Week article stated that 1/3rd of the 950 respondents listed lab order visualization and results, clinical decision support, and medical image viewing applications as “top priorities” for the use of the iPad in healthcare. All great reasons for digital pathology too!
At USCAP Nikon demonstrated live image sharing (aka telepathology) on an iPad with their digital site camera system, Aperio was showing the mobile site of the Juan Rosai Collection on one, Aurora’s mScope really was “anytime, anywhere” on an iPad, and Olympus was demonstrating the new VS800 software on an iPad too!
WSI’s & more in the Cloud
Software (and/or Storage) As A Service (SAAS) are catching on to help overcome the IT barriers of digital pathology. I blogged on the storage element of this over a year ago (see post SAAS- Cloud 9 For Digital Pathology?) and firmly believe that SAAS has it’s place in healthcare and for digital pathology. At USCAP, several digital pathology providers were showing examples of SAAS with support for cloud based storage and secure web-enabled software solutions to ease the strain on IT. Aurora is “building communication networks” and overcoming IT barriers through their SAAS model; Aperio’s SecondSlide & Ventana’sPathXchange are cloud based; Apollo launched a collaboration with Hitachi to offer their Enterprise Patient Media Manager in the cloud, and Mikroscan offers a cloud based solution through a collaboration with Simagis. Why is this becoming more popular? SAAS solutions are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, do not require installation on a local server or client, can be up and running quickly, and can be rapidly scaled as needed. Another example of SAAS is as an adjunct to a client-based solution. Omnyx developed a web-enabled version of their pathology workstation viewer to work with their client based Pathology workstation software. This will give the pathologist access to cases remotely (home, vacation, etc) and allow for safe, secure sharing of slides outside the hospital network for consultations.
The Pathologist Workstation
The Pathologists workstation experience has become a hot spot of innovation. Barco (see post Diagnostic Color Displays for Digital Pathology) was beta testing software that could improve the “viewing experience” and provide the speed, image quality, and intuitive interaction needed to diagnosis off of a WSI. It was amazing, and they were only using simple input devices bought at Best Buy. The Diagnostic Intelligence and Health Information Technology (DIHIT), a department of CAP STS, were again advocating for and demonstrating their prototype of a pathology diagnostic workstation. Also a few digital pathology manufacturers, like Aperio and 3DHistech, were showing new and/or compatible input devices.
Digital pathology continues to be at the forefront of innovation. It was wonderful to see so many digital pathology solutions leveraging other key innovations!
Look for my final post on Monday, USCAP Part 3: Breaking Down The Barriers Of Digital Pathology.