4th April 2023
Digital pathology is a branch of pathology that utilizes digital technology to digitize pathology specimens, such as tissue samples or blood samples, and analyze them using specialized software. In digital pathology, images of tissue samples are captured and stored in a digital format, which can be accessed and analyzed remotely by pathologists and other medical professionals. Further, it integrates all the pathology data along with accession, administration, and communication into a digital setting.
The benefits of digital pathology include allowing for more accurate and efficient diagnosis and analysis of pathology specimens, as pathologists can zoom in on specific areas of the image and analyze the tissue at a microscopic level, enable faster turnaround times for diagnosis, as the digitized images can be accessed and analyzed by pathologists from anywhere, allowing for more rapid diagnosis and treatment, enables pathologists and other medical professionals to easily share images and collaborate on cases, regardless of their location, allows for easier and more accurate record-keeping of pathology specimens, as the digitized images can be stored in a secure and easily accessible format, and reduce the need for expensive equipment and infrastructure, as well as eliminate the need for physical storage of pathology specimens.
Increasing demand for faster and more accurate diagnoses: Digital pathology can significantly improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis, leading to better patient outcomes and increased demand from healthcare providers and patients.
Growing burden of chronic diseases: Chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes are on the rise, leading to a greater need for advanced diagnostic tools like digital pathology.
Shortage of trained pathologists: There is a shortage of trained pathologists in many parts of the world, particularly in rural areas. Digital pathology can help overcome this shortage by enabling remote analysis and collaboration.
Advancements in technology: Recent advancements in digital imaging technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are driving the development of more advanced digital pathology solutions, further increasing the demand for this technology.
Increasing focus on personalized medicine: Personalized medicine requires more precise and accurate diagnosis, which can be facilitated by digital pathology.
The Digital Pathology Market has reached a value of $834 million in 2022. This market value is expected to grow from $946.4 million in 2023 to $2282.4 million in 2030 with a CAGR of 13.4% in the forecast period of 2023-2030. This market is estimated based on different key pointers that attributes to the growth which are product types such as Artificial Intelligence, Scanner, Software, and Storage, end-user types including Pharma, Academia, and Hospital, Applications including Teleconsultation, Training, Disease Diagnosis, and Drug Discovery. The leading market players such as Leica Biosystems, Koninklijke Philips, Hamamatsu Photonics, 3D HISTECH, and Akoya Biosciences are in the global pathology market.
The digital diagnostics segment impacts the major growth of the digital pathology market and is important in identifying many chronic diseases since it helps determine & comprehend the disease’s root causes. The use of digital pathology for routine diagnoses is rapidly expanding. The efficiency, effectiveness, and safety of disease diagnosis in pathology laboratories are improved by the integration of digital pathology with digital tools (barcoding, specimen tracking, and digital dictation). The rapid sharing of entire slides to several pathologists is a feature of digital pathology platforms that allows them to instantly contribute to a case at once. All these paved the way for implementing digital pathology systems in clinical diagnosis centers eventually leading to enhance its market value in the coming years.
The dominating factors supporting the growth of North American market share in digital pathology include rising concern for chronic diseases, increasing adoption of digital management in disease, bringing new product launches, and significant development in the key players of this region.
In March 2022, Digital Diagnostics and Baxter International Inc. partnered together and released the product IDx-DR autonomous AI software along with Welch Allyn RetinaVue 700 imager. The Neuberg Centre for Genomic Medicine (NCGM) deploys next-generation sequencing (NGS) to do various genomic and molecular testing extensively using digital pathology platforms. It launched its first-ever laboratory base in the US part of the North American region. These kinds of new launches, partnerships, and collaborations propel the overall market value of digital pathology in this region.
Virtual slide telepathology systems such as virtual microscopy and whole-slide imaging (WSI) in clinical pathology refer to the use of digital technology to scan glass slides and create high-resolution digital images that can be transmitted to remote locations for review and diagnosis. It enables pathologists to perform quality control checks on their diagnoses, by comparing their diagnoses with those of other pathologists, and by tracking and analyzing diagnostic trends over time.
Regulatory approval from agencies like the FDA (USA) or CE IVD (Europe) is typically required for digital pathology devices or image analysis algorithms that are widely used in diagnostic reporting. Deep learning-based methods such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning are increasingly replacing conventional image analysis algorithms. It is frequently possible to develop algorithms that outperform conventional image analysis techniques by training sophisticated computing models straight from acquired or available data. This innovation builds a scope for analyzing multiple data in a short period of time with greater accuracy.
The prerequisite for the adaptation to digital pathology in the clinical analysis includes optimizing the standard operating protocols and training the pathologist for adapting to digital pathology, an appropriate license to work on various clinical software & upgradation details, approval from respective regulatory bodies, and sticking to the performance and evidence base criteria for image analysis algorithms.
The pathology field might be pushed to become more scalable and efficient by digital technologies. Pioneer companies that develop efficient software to integrate pathological information must look for innovative technology such as whole slide imaging (WSI) and bring new versions or valuable add-ons to the same that create a chance to enhance the market of digital pathology. Since these technologies support pathologists by enhancing innovation and data-driven while facilitating quicker and more precise diagnoses for patients.
The application of standards and the creation & validation of image analysis tools are the two key factors that will promote the use of digital pathology in clinical practice. Hence, the practice of pathology will continue to lift up the market of digital pathology, which will provide chances for researching & bringing novel testing methods, and patient-centric treatments.
Patient data in pathology is highly sensitive and must be protected. These companies must make sure their technology incorporates strong security measures to prevent unauthorized access or data breaches. Furthermore, working closely with pathologists, medical professionals, and other experts in the field could help them develop technology that truly meets the needs of the market. Consider building partnerships with industry leaders and academic institutions that ensure to have access to the latest research and best practices in digital pathology.