The end of the microscope! This was the title I gave to my presentation at the professional pathologists’ forum on 7th October last, where my aim was to demonstrate that digital pathology is set to replace the microscope. Some days later, I visited the premises of a prospect, with a view to explaining all the benefits.
The editorial from Jean-François POMEROL
A newly-upgraded technical platform, with 15 practitioners processing 2,300 slides a day – at first sight, this Swiss laboratory was an ideal candidate for digital pathology. The head of department welcomed me, listened politely, then revealed that he had a scanner ready … still under its cover. “What’s the point of switching over to digital pathology?” he asked. When I mentioned the improvement in workflow, e replied that the de- partment was sited in a single location, and organized efficiently. When I mentioned communication and access to expertise, he argued that the team was sufficiently large to provide collective skills, and that every part of Switzerland can be accessed quickly. When I mentioned support for diagnosis and quantification, he was not convinced of the efficiency of these features in routine operation.
As I left, however, he asked me to keep him abreast of developments. I came back from Switzerland with two convictions reinforced. Firstly, digital patho- logy only makes sense if it is accompanied by a comprehensive review of workflow, incorporating automation and a lean approach, both pre- and post-analytical. Secondly, a return on investment is generated, not only by improvements in depart- mental productivity, but also by the econo- mies associated with reliable diagnosis, i.e. the administration of the right therapy to the right patient within the shortest possible time scale. Working policies which, while meriting further pursuit, provide immediate justification for the progressive adoption of these new working methods.
It is up to pathologists in every country to make the move. This fourth newsletter includes a remarkable description of the Les Cordeliers Research Centre, where CaloPix is used for the accele- ration and standardization of the high capacity quantification of analyses. Overleaf, you will also read about the outstanding second half of 2014 enjoyed by TRIBVN! In conclusion, digital pathology is not a passing trend, but represents an exciting challenge !
Through this testimony, the research teams from “Les Cordeliers” are presented their everyday work. They are notably talking about the continual improvement of their pratices with the introduction of new tools that are facilitating their work. The use of new functionalities in images analysis allowed, among other things, to simplify the studies thanks to automation and reproducibility.
- TeleSlide 4.0: A simplified version
- CaloPix 3.1.2: A new ergonomics