Strategies

Three-step process for digital pathology

As laboratories in Europe shift to systems for digital pathology, they must ensure the technology not only works, but works for them, says Dr Liron Pantanowitz, director of pathology informatics at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).

Report: Lisa Chamoff

Photo
Dr Liron Pantanowitz is Director of Cytopathology at UPMC Shadyside. He is also Director of the Pathology Informatics Fellowship Programme and Associate Director of the Pathology Informatics Division.

On 27 May, at the 13th European Congress on Digital Pathology in Berlin, pathologist Dr Liron Pantanowitz, from the Pittsburgh Medical Center will give the keynote address ‘Strategies and demands for digital pathology workflow integration’, discussing how to bring digital technologies into a laboratory without disrupting the processes already set up.

‘Just because you’re bringing in new technology doesn’t mean you’re going to do a better job,’ Pantanowitz confirms. ‘The people have to be willing to work with the technology and be efficient.’

Later in that 3rd day of the congress, Pantanowitz will also participate in a roundtable discussion on Digital Pathology Workflow Integration. In his keynote address, the pathologist will go over the three-step process for digital pathology: pre-imaging, imaging and post imaging, providing strategies for incorporating scanning of slides into a lab’s workflow, and discussing the importance of training people to do high-quality imaging to create the best slides and how laboratories can make decisions about saving immense amounts of data.

Going digital could have a negative affect on a laboratory’s workflow if, for example, employees batch all the work of scanning slides, or if there’s downtime, Pantanowitz points out. If laboratories follow the right integration strategies, he adds, they can take advantage of the many benefits of a digital system -- using computer-aided diagnostic tools and conducting image-based searches.

Just because you’re bringing in new technology doesn’t mean you’re going to do a better job. The people have to be willing to work with the technology and be efficient.

Dr Liron Pantanowitz

Pantanowitz will also touch on his work with Onyx, a company that provides digital pathology technology and is a joint venture between GE Healthcare and UPMC

Digital pathology is gaining ground in Europe faster than in the USA, Pantanowitz points out, with less stringent regulations governing its use. The country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates medical devices, states that digital pathology cannot be used for primary diagnosis. While the USA’s laboratories can use digital pathology technology ‘off label’, they risk being held liable if there should be a malpractice case. As a result, three laboratories in Europe have gone fully digital, according to Pantanowitz, while he is not aware of any fully digital laboratories in the USA.

UPMC runs a digital pathology consultation service, providing second opinions to pathologists, clinicians and patients around the world, which provides the facility with an additional revenue stream. The Pittsburg Medical centre is in the process of collecting data regarding the use of digital methods for primary diagnosis to help make the case for using digital technologies for primary diagnosis, Pantanowitz adds.

23.05.2016

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

Connected laboratory

Digitisation and automation: Game-changers in histopathology?

Often referred to as the ‘Achilles’ heel’ of histopathology, the sample entry has posed considerable challenges in pre-analytics for several decades. We visited the Munich-based lab automation…

Photo

MALDI Tissuetyper

The rapifleX is now available as TOF/TOF

The MALDI Tissuetyper is a system that records spatially resolved mass spectra directly from tissue. This allows the direct measurement of proteins, lipids and other molecular classes without the…

Photo

Moving on

I saw the future of pathology – and it’s digital

Healthcare is going digital. No doubt about it, Prof. Hufnagl predicts. Information and communication technologies have gone beyond moving data from one place to the other; they are triggering…

Related products

i-Solutions Health – LabCentre

LIS, Middleware, POCT

i-Solutions Health – LabCentre

i-SOLUTIONS Health GmbH
Beckman Coulter – DxONE Command Central Workstation

LIS, Middleware, POCT

Beckman Coulter – DxONE Command Central Workstation

Beckman Coulter, Inc.
Hamamatsu Photonics – NDP.serve3 Image Server Software

Information Technology

Hamamatsu Photonics – NDP.serve3 Image Server Software

Hamamatsu Photonics Deutschland GmbH
Medat – Laboratory Information System

LIS, Middleware, POCT

Medat – Laboratory Information System

Medat Computer-Systeme GmbH
RTI – Ocean 2014

Testing Devices

RTI – Ocean 2014

RTI Electronics
Siemens Healthineers - CentraLink Data Management System

LIS, Middleware, POCT

Siemens Healthineers - CentraLink Data Management System

Siemens Healthineers