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The speed of digital pathology compared to traditional pathology can vary depending on various factors, including the specific workflow, technology, and the proficiency of the individuals involved. If you are on the fence about digital pathology because you think it might slow down your workflow, here are some points to consider for both approaches:

Favoring the Speed of Traditional Pathology

1. Familiarity

Traditional “analog” pathology involves the direct examination of glass slides under a microscope, as has been the method for well over 100 years. Since most pathologists are used to this method, familiarity alone could result in faster diagnosis, at least in the short term.

2. Slide Navigation

When using traditional glass slide viewing, pathologists can quickly access any location on the slide and can move between different areas of interest. Some pathologists would argue that this hands-on approach allows for faster diagnosing.

3. No Technology Learning Curve

Traditional pathology does not require learning digital systems or software, which can initially take time.

Favoring the Speed of Digital Pathology

1. Faster Access

First, in the lab itself, a digital process allows for first-in, first-out workflow. Digitized slides are sorted in silico, so cases do not need to be kept together despite varying processing times and special studies required for different specimens. This process improves efficiency in the lab and reduces turn-around time. Digital pathology also allows pathologists to access digital images from anywhere with an internet connection, reducing transportation time when pathologists are not physically co-located with the glass slides.

2. Remote Consultations

Digital pathology enables immediate remote consultations, making it easier to collaborate with colleagues and specialists in different locations and resulting in a faster diagnosis for these cases.

3. Efficiency Tools

Many digital pathology systems come with tools for image analysis and annotation, which can help automate tasks and make the diagnostic process more efficient. Lumea’s workflow tools have helped some uropathologists do their typical workload in half the time, enabling them to take on more work or enjoy more free time.

In summary, whether digital pathology is slower or faster than traditional pathology depends not only on the technology used but also on the individual pathologist’s experience, workload, physical relationship with the lab, and familiarity with the chosen method. Some pathologists find digital pathology faster and more efficient, while others prefer the traditional approach. Understanding how digital pathology can affect accessibility and overall time spent signing out cases, however, will help guide an informed decision.

Learn more about our unique digital pathology solutions by requesting more information. Don’t just take our word for it! Read pathologist Dr. Todd Randolph’s experience about how our solutions helped him increase the efficiency, accessibility, and flexibility of his practice.

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