Digital pathology demonstrates innovation and a commitment to excellence in healthcare; with specific support for pathology education, clinical research, informatics, and the practice of human pathology throughout the world.
Clinical use of digital pathology refers to how the technology is applied within the diagnostic practice of human pathology and for the diagnosis and treatment of patients throughout the world. Some clinical applications include primary diagnosis, diagnostic consultation, intraoperative diagnosis, manual and semi-quantitative review of immunohistochemistry (IHC), diagnostic decision support, peer review, and tumor boards.
Individual and collaborative research is an essential part of the practice of pathology. Pathologists are well positioned to lead clinical research; specifically for the discovery of new medicines and patient treatments. Digital pathology aides in these discoveries by providing innovative tools to create high quality whole slide images of glass slides. The whole slide images are then used to identify, quantify, and document key characteristics, reactions, or responses within a specific set of tissue samples. The research data captured may then be used to track the response of a treatment, disease progression, or of an outcome in patients.
The academic community has embraced digital pathology as a preferred medical training resource. The majority of U.S. medical schools and numerous schools in other parts of the world are using digital pathology in first and second year pathology, histology and anatomy courses; either as adjunct to or as a replacement for the microscope. Students can easily collaborate and access their whole slide images from anywhere. Digital pathology has also become an important resource for resident training, fellow training, and continuing medical education.
Pathology informatics is an important, emerging clinical sub-specialty of pathology. Pathology Informatics, as defined by the Association for Pathology Informatics, involves collecting, examining, reporting, and storing large complex sets of data derived from tests performed in clinical laboratories, anatomic pathology laboratories, or research laboratories to improve patient care and enhance the understanding of disease-related processes. Pathology Informaticians seek to continuously improve existing laboratory information technology and enhance the value of existing laboratory test data, and develop computational algorithms and models aimed at deriving clinical value from new data sources. - Archival and Retrieval in Digital Pathology Systems White Paper- Interoperability Between Anatomic Pathology Laboratory Information Systems and Digital Pathology Systems White Paper- DICOM Supplement 145: Whole Slide Microscopic Image IOD and SOP Classes- Association for Pathology Informatics