The global Digital Pathology Market is projected to be valued at $383.9 Million in 2016 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.3% from 2017 to reach to $756.1 Million by 2022, as per a report by MarketsandMarkets.
How overcoming the shortage of pathologists through digital pathology is an opportunity?
Pathologists play a crucial role in performing laboratory tests essential for disease diagnosis. However, at present, there is a gap between the supply and demand of pathologists worldwide, especially in countries in Asia-Pacific and Africa. According to a John Hopkins Medicine study, Malaysia and China have only 1 pathologist per 103,300 individuals and 1 pathologist per 74,000 individuals, respectively. Pathology Group of South Africa).
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Although the 2012 statistics for the US—which has 7.0 pathologists per 100,000 individuals—are better in comparison, the number of pathologists in the country is expected to decline within the next 15 years [Source: Archives of Pathology- Practice of Pathology in Africa and College of American Pathologists (CAP)]. This alarming shortage of pathologists is expected to result in increased utilization of digital pathology for providing remote pathological consultation and services. Digital pathology enables medical practitioners to remotely share important information with pathologists beyond geographical boundaries in a secure and timely manner.
Why lack of standard guidelines is a challenge?
Standardization is the process of implementing and developing technical standards, which helps in maximizing the compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, or quality of processes and procedures. Digital pathology systems currently lack standard guidelines for image scanning and analyzing processes, due to the availability of varied image management and analysis algorithms by several industry players. This obstructs the analysis of pathological images in a single standardized format, thus inhibiting its adoption among laboratories and healthcare providers.
The integration of digital pathology systems with laboratory information systems (LIS) can help in the standardization of processes. This can enable pathologists to share, view, and access extensive pathological images on a globally standardized platform, which can help enhance the widespread adoption of digital pathology.
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