digital pathology

Digital pathology is an incredibly exciting tool at the forefront of modern in vitro diagnostic technology.

Previously 'manual' processes, such as handling physical slides, are being replaced by vastly more efficient means of diagnosing cases as high-resolution digitised images. This facilitates incredibly powerful software-based image analysis algorithms and applies robustly validated software-based image analysis algorithms for reproducible results you can trust.

Digital pathology makes some fundamental changes to existing pathology workflows in order to gain efficiencies. For example, the shift from optical microscopy to reviewing cases on desktop workstations. Understandably, such changes give rise to cautious uncertainty and often resistance to digital pathology implementation.

The biggest benefits to the pathologist are: accessible patient data (can view up to six slides at once), rapid turn around time for second opinions through virtual image sharing (no need to wait for physical slide transportation), enabling remote working, and the ability to present the slides in multi-disciplinary teams easily.

That is why we created the digital pathology 'coffee break' discussions. A series of short videos featuring insights from people that have seen positive changes from implementing digital pathology. These videos detail some of the challenges and the many benefits that result from embarking on a partnership in digital pathology with Roche. This includes key efficiencies that 'far outweigh' perceived barriers in overcoming potential challenges.

Benefits of Digital Pathology

Australian pathologist Dr. Cameron Snell talks us through some of the fundamental advantages for Australian labs that are digitising their pathology workflow. In this video, he describes how important Australia's knowledge of the benefits of digital pathology will be in overcoming some common challenges of implementation. Such challenges include changes to established laboratory workflows and upgrades to I.T. infrastructure.

Future proofing with Digital Pathology

PhD candidate Madeline Gough speaks to the topical nature  of digital pathology in Australia. As a young Australian laboratory scientist herself, Madeline believes the use of digital pathology will be able to improve the clinical practices for patients. She sites a necessity of adjust existing workflows and upgrading I.T. infrastructure, to allow for a complete digital pathology platform. Madeline reinforces the importance of raising awareness as to the benefits of digital pathology, such as new techniques, algorithms and increased collaboration.

Use cases Digital Pathology

 Pathologist Richie Jara-Lazaro discusses the basics of digital pathology. She explains how the technology has evolved, from it's perception as 'just a scanner', to what is now a fully integrated solution. A number of use additional use cases are detailed, including accessing slides  out of hours, remote working and second opinions. Software algorithms reduce time-intensive quantification tasks from the workflow and can help to improve interobserver reproducibility.

The Medical Value of Digital Pathology

Pathologist Richie Jara-Lazaro details some of the more specific medical value for laboratories that transition away from the 'manual' approach of optical microscopy toward viewing digital images on a computer screen workstation. Publications report efficiency gains of more than 10%, in part due to eliminating fundamental disadvantages of handling physical slides, whilst image analysis algorithms further open up time saving efficiencies, by improving interobserver reproducibility. 

Perceived barriers to Digital Pathology

 Pathologist Richie Jara-Lazaro discusses the importance of partnership in overcoming some of the common perceived barriers to implementing digital pathology. This includes the complete business case of factoring in elimination of manual handling and added time-saving efficiency of  deploying image analysis algorithms.  Mari-Claire Dennington of Roche Diagnostics Australia has experience as an Australian laboratory histotechnologist. She describes how ongoing training, service and support provided by Roche, flows through to meeting regulatory requirements such as those set by RCPA.

Preparing a lab for Digital Pathology

Reuben Cherian and Gary Ho, both members of Roche Diagnostics Asia Pacific, share significant experience implementing digital pathology solutions. In this video, they discuss some of the more technical considerations when it comes to digital pathology implementation. The video covers integration with Laboratory Information Systems, I.T. hardware and network requirements, and insight into the software algorithms a laboratory can unlock, once the digital pathology solution is implemented.

uPath enterprise software

Mari-Claire Dennington  describes some of the features of the Roche uPath enterprise software that resonate with Australian pathologists. This includes how quickly they take to the software's intuitive navigation features. Secondly, the 'split view' capability allows the viewer to compare up to 6 slides at once. Finally pathologists describe the futureproofing offered by Roches Open API,  where emerging image analysis algorithms developed by third parties can be added as a digital tool.

VENTANA DP 600 slide scanner

Ruaab Patel, international product manager for digital pathology, introduces Roches latest addition to its product portfolio, the VENTANA DP 600 slide scanner.  This high capacity scanner has the ability to scan 240 slides. Delivering the same high image quality and familiar slide tray-based system and built-in calibrations as the DP 200 slide scanner, the VENTANA DP 600 slide scanner is similarly compatible with uPath enterprise software and NAVIFY® tumour board, software solution.

UPATH , NAVIFY and VENTANA are trademarks of Roche.