Digitize to Overcome
The pandemic has spurred pathology’s digitization; now is the tech’s time to shine
Monika Lamba Saini | | Opinion
Want to hear Monika Lamba Saini’s experience of the pandemic – in her own words? Listen to our audio interview below!
The pandemic has had a deleterious effect on health care systems worldwide. The influx of patients with COVID-19 overwhelmed not only clinical, but also diagnostic facilities. Laboratories were particularly badly affected – and the paucity of pathologists became all too clear. Without sufficient personnel, how can we continue to cope with the demands of not just our usual workload, but a pandemic as well? I believe the answer lies in digitization.
Image digitization technology has progressed in the last decade, and it’s time for pathology to benefit. Whole-slide imaging (WSI) scanners can now produce scans with excellent resolution that pathologists can manipulate just as they would a glass slide. And it’s not just useful for research and education, but also for diagnostic surgical practice (1). Many countries have recently stepped up efforts to integrate digital pathology systems into routine hospital workflows to enable efficient remote second opinions and consultations (2), keeping people safe as we tackle COVID-19.
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