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Digital Pathology at the Crossroads of Major Health Care Trends Corporate Innovation as an Engine for Change Dirk Soenksen, MS, MBA A s the founder and chief executive ofﬁcer of Aperio Technologies, Inc (Vista, California), I am pleased to share with you our view of the rapidly emerging digital Fundamentally you need a way to organize digital slides and related images by case and by project and to be able to give access to various users in a secure way to share pathology market. images through the Web and do all that in a way that Fundamentally, digital pathology is an information- actually makes sense and is integrated into the workﬂow. management play. It is an environment for managing and I think the opportunities in digital pathology for clinical interpreting information. This is not patient information algorithms and computer-aided diagnosis or diagnostics but information that is enabled by being able to deal with is really immense. Being able to do pattern recognition an entire digital slide. The reason digital pathology is ex- and doing quantitative immunohistochemistry and a va- citing is that, for the ﬁrst time, it is possible to digitize an riety of other things is going to be part of digital pathol- entire glass slide in such a way that the resolution of the ogy and will add a lot of value. digital slide displayed on the computer monitor is essen- Finally, there is the element of advanced visualization. tially equivalent to what you can see under the micro- The ability to simultaneously view a hematoxylin-eosin scope. That opens up a number of possibilities and op- slide and an immunohistochemistry slide, whether it’s an portunities for using digital pathology to address some of estrogen receptor or a progesterone receptor digital slide, the challenges that pathologists are having today. and to be able to move all of these digital slide images I want to take the deﬁnition of digital pathology a little synchronously is a new way of looking at pathology in- bit further and explain the way we think about it. Digital formation. It precludes you having to take one slide, look pathology comprises 4 key elements. First, there is slide at it, ﬁnd a cell, put the slide away, look at another micro- scanning technology, which is basically required to be ‘‘in scope slide, and look for the same cells on a different slide. the game.’’ You need to have a scanner that can digitize This can all be integrated to provide a much more pow- the entire slide in a reasonable amount of time and you erful environment for visualization. want to have high enough resolution so that you are com- The way we think about digital pathology is analogous fortable that the information on the glass slide is repre- to the
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