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Optimizing Pathology Workflows with a Scanner and Image Format Agnostic Digital Solution

How will using scanner and image format agnostic solutions improve pathology workflows? What challenges will these advances solve? Read on to learn more.


Explore the Benefits of Scanner and Image Format Agnostic Solutions for Pathology

In 2022, the digital pathology market reached a valuation of $975.5 million, showcasing its significant economic impact. Despite this remarkable market value, the field faces challenges, particularly in the declining numbers of licensed pathologists. While some attribute this shortage to retirements, others point to the added stress imposed by the pandemic on the industry.

Beyond workforce challenges, traditional pathology grapples with slow diagnostic processes. The conventional approach is intricate and time-consuming, hindering collaboration and efficiency in workflow. The proposed solution involves embracing scanner and image format agnostic technologies. Many laboratories are now adopting digital pathology solutions to revolutionize disease diagnosis. The use of image format agnostic solutions is particularly noteworthy, allowing seamless integration of multiple image formats. This results in heightened efficiency and precision for pathologists. The transformative benefits are evident, ranging from accelerated diagnoses and improved patient outcomes to cost savings. The adoption of image format agnostic solutions enables pathology labs to streamline their operations and stay at the forefront of advancements. When integrated with premier laboratory information management services (LIMS), this technology becomes even more powerful. By leveraging these solutions, laboratories can reduce costs, enhance collaboration, and significantly improve workflow efficiency.

The integration of image format agnostic solutions with LIMS facilitates a holistic enhancement of workflow. It enables a more comprehensive approach to data management, ensuring smoother operations and better coordination among stakeholders. This synergy not only expedites diagnostic processes but also contributes to overall laboratory efficiency. Laboratories that embrace this advanced technology are poised to realize substantial improvements in their workflow, marking a pivotal shift towards a more efficient and collaborative future in pathology.

Understanding Scanner and Image Format Agnostic Solutions

The use of photography to capture microscopic specimens dawned 100 years ago. During this time, scientists would transfer captured specimens into photographic plates. They would refer to these plates while studying the disease and aligned pathogens. But we had to wait until the 90s to see commercial whole slide image scanners.

Scanner and image format agnostic solutions rely on whole slide scanner technology to capture pathological specimens. The devices turn the specimens into large zoomable images that pathologists can review in the quest for a diagnosis.

More and more businesses are opting for scanner and image format agnostic solutions. These solutions allow for easy integration of scanning devices and image formats, simplifying data management. Companies can enhance their efficiency and save time and money by eliminating the need for specific file types and devices. It’s essential to stay updated on this trend as it evolves and impacts businesses across various industries.

Definition and Importance of Scanner and Image Format Agnostic

For us to understand scanner technology, we must first grasp digital pathology. Digital pathology is a newer pathology branch that revolves around using digital solutions to capture and interpret specimens. It involves using digital microscopy to produce slides that can be analyzed over computer screens.

Digital pathology relies on the harmony of two different components. At the top, we have digital image acquisition. It is where the camera comes in. Through photography, scientists can capture samples and translate them onto computer screens. The second component is microscopy. Microscopy has been around for centuries. It is a relatively developed branch of science that depends on using light and magnification to review tissue samples. The first use of microscopy dates back to 700 BC, and at this time, all science had was the “Nimrud lens”. It was all but a rock crystal that functioned as a magnifying glass.

The Microscopy Process

The pathology workflow begins with a treated sample. The sample is then placed into the scanner slots with a robotic stage. The scanner will then create dynamic images at different magnifications. The images will be in pyramid form. It means that it will layer the captured image according to magnification.

The pathologist can then review the magnified image. And just as with a traditional microscope, they can zoom in and out. All this data is sufficient for the pathologist to come to a diagnosis. And should the pathologist determine that a sample needs extra attention, they can still send it to another pathologist in a different lab. But this time, there will be no burden of transportation fees or risk of compromised samples. The pathologist can share the file with a colleague in a matter of seconds.

Benefits of Using Scanner and Image Format Agnostic Systems

Scanner and image format agnostic solutions provide an array of benefits to laboratories. They are a great way to save money and an excellent way to optimize workflow in your lab and open your company up to the global workforce.

Flexibility

Scanner and image format agnostic systems can help laboratories increase workflow flexibility. These systems place something in pathology that has only sometimes been there: the possibility of seamless remote work. Since pathologists can rely on digital scanner solutions, it removes the need to physically be in the place where the scans are being generated. With our Xybion Digital Pathology software, any pathologist can access the scans and pursue a diagnosis. This flexibility also means it is now possible for laboratories to haul global talent. The possibility makes labs competitive on a global scale.

Scalability

Scanner technology can help pathology labs better increase their workflow. The greatest hindrance to this possibility was traditional pathology’s slow and static nature. Pathologists would sometimes have to wait several days before receiving a sample. But digital pathology allows for streamlining the workflow. It moves the traditional barriers of delayed diagnosis and opens laboratories to more efficient work. With a better workflow, pathologists can receive scans faster and increase output.

Cost Efficiency

Regarding cost efficiency, we cannot hail digital pathology systems enough. Sample transportation is an expensive process. Another area of contention for laboratories is archives. Most pathology labs prefer storing samples for further research or later reviewing. And what this means is money.

But with systems like our Xybion Digital Pathology software, laboratories can save up to 30% in costs. The digital workflow removes the need for sample transportation. Digital archive systems can also replace physical storage facilities. It will erase the demand for more glass slides used for storage and even storage maintenance techniques.

Streamlined Workflows

Once implemented, digital pathology solutions will eliminate unnecessary tasks while simplifying workflow. Most traditional labs across the country grapple with arduous tasks. A quick example would be cell counting and sample measurement. However, scanner and image format agnostic technology simplify such tasks. With only a few clicks, you will have your measurements.

Challenges in Pathology Workflows and How Scanner and Image Format Agnostic Solutions Can Help

Pathologists face unique challenges from data handling to image-sharing issues. But these are challenges the suitable scanner technology is equipped to handle.

Handling Different Image Formats

Labs work with different samples that require several magnifications or resolutions. And varying healthcare systems use different APIs. It makes it imperative to have a system that handles all formats and APIs. Scanner and image-agnostic systems can help with this. They allow for different picture formats. And, in turn, allowing for other image-sharing forms.

Integration with Various Scanners

There may come a time when your lab wants to replace its current scanner. A new manufacturer may have better capabilities than your current provider. But this change may mean compromising your data or losing your stored images.

Different scanners may not produce images that are compatible with other devices. And so, you find yourself in a tug of war between preserving your archives and efficiency. However, an agnostic system, true to its name, can complement any image format. The system shines through interoperability. It means that an agnostic scanner and image format can support any configuration.

Data Management and Analysis

Non-agnostic image systems pose a serious threat to productivity. A system that only supports various formats can mean limited image interpretation capabilities. For accurate data handling and analysis, your lab must have a system that can read and interpret various image formats. As highlighted above, an agnostic system permits data handling and sample analysis without requiring software change.

Future Trends and Innovations

The future of pathology is a bright one. The evolution that started over three decades ago has made significant strides, and nothing will halt it. Let’s discuss some of these innovations and their impact on pathology.

The Future of Pathology Workflows with Scanner and Image Format Agnostic Solutions

One thing is sure; digital pathology is here to stay. Most experts believe it is just a matter of time before digital pathology is a staple in the diagnostic field and all labs are forced to conform. We see better storage when considering the future of scanner and image format agnostic solutions. Unlike radiology scans, pathology scans require vast amounts of space. Even though the storage space is digital, building these vast archives is expensive.

We want to see better-suited storage spaces that can preserve the integrity of the images while remaining cost-effective. Another solution we are eager about is better efficiency. As digital pathology becomes more sophisticated, we anticipate seeing more efficient software. Image process times and user experience will continue to improve. But we can guarantee this, regardless of the change in efficiency and productivity demand, Xybion will continue to be at the forefront of innovation. It will ensure that we provide the best possible solutions to our customers.

Emerging Technologies in Digital Pathology

Technological leaps made in every sector are astounding. Most of these advancements are affecting pathology. The first example we could make is AI. Artificial intelligence is everywhere. And digital pathology is no exception. There are tasks in pathology, such as cell differentiation, that we will see left in the hands of AI. These programs are already used to review cell patterns that point to certain diseases. They make for faster diagnosis and eliminate the possibility of human error in identifying patterns.

The third technology we are excited about is point-of-care testing or POCT. POCT are mobile medical testing stations that can be carried to patients. Pathologists are looking forward to the possibility of conducting tests outside the lab. The sort of technology endorsed in POCT enables pathologists to take diagnostics where it is most needed.

Going Digital with Scanner and Image Format Agnostic Solutions in Your Pathology Lab

To embrace digital pathology, you must employ scanner and image format agnostic solutions in your lab. The tools used in these solutions make data sharing easier, diagnosis faster, and collaboration possible.

The days of countless hours sorting through physical slides and dealing with compatibility issues are over. Xybion’s solutions have seamlessly integrated all our digital pathology data into one comprehensive system, giving us more time to focus on providing exceptional patient care. Xybion’s technology benefits go beyond just streamlining our workflow. Their advanced image analysis software detects nuances and anomalies we may have previously missed. This increase in precision translates to more accurate diagnoses and better patient outcomes.

Xybion Digital Pathology software is designed for every lab. What we have is different from other digital pathology software. We pride ourselves on increased productivity and reduced costs. With our scanner and image format agnostic solutions, you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues during the transition to digital pathology. Moreover, our platform is designed to keep your safety in mind with secure cloud storage and access controls. With our software, you can enjoy faster outputs and quicker turnaround times. If you are ready for digital change in your lab, Xybion is your partner. Improve the capabilities of your pathology lab by implementing Xybion Digital Pathology. Our solutions work seamlessly with any scanner and image format, ensuring greater accuracy while maintaining the highest levels of safety and security. It’s a breeze to integrate our software into your current processes. Book a demo today to see firsthand how Xybion can help you work more efficiently.

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