It is remarkable how little pathology has changed over the past hundred years. The future is digital.1

Traditionally, pathology is an analog process. Tissue samples are delivered to the lab, where they are prepped and placed on slides. The pathologist takes the slide, places it on a microscope and manually searches for points of interest, takes measurements by hand and draws conclusions by sight. The pathologist then renders a diagnosis, which is delivered to the oncologist, who uses it to determine the course of treatment.
4 steps to traditional pathology - tissue delivered, slide reviewed, manually reviewed, diagnosis delivered.

Practicing pathology in this manner also means that:

  • Slides must be mailed to other labs if a second opinion or a specialist’s opinion is requested.
  • Slides can be lost or damaged.
  • Collecting data or even making simple comparisons between cases is cumbersome.
  • Sharing of information and collaboration with other members of the care team can be limited.

This is the pathology of today. In light of growing cancer rates, pathologists are perhaps even more important than ever, but they have yet to benefit from advances in information technology.