The cost/benefit ratio of digital pathology is particularly hard to quantify – especially with so many variables in play for NHS trusts and laboratory groups. Now, however, Source LDPath has introduced a new Health Economic Model to its offering, which the company says will make the departmental benefits of incorporating a digital pathology workflow crystal clear.
After over a decade of perpetual rising demand for diagnostic services and a protracted shortage of pathologists, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns has thrown pathology departments across the UK into a state of operational emergency.1-3 The consequent postponement of elective surgeries has resulted in between 22-30% of patients, almost 400,000, breaching the six-week wait list as of March 2022.4 Hospital trusts and NHS England are scrabbling to combat this catastrophe effectively even as the crisis mounts, with only 3% of pathology departments stating they are adequately staffed.2
Digital technology provides a platform that has numerous significant inherent advantages over the traditional service; in particular, load-balancing across pathology networks and more efficient use of pathologists’ time. A UK-wide strategy of digitalisation promises to transform pathology services and significantly reduce the current life-threatening delays between the diagnostic biopsy and initiation of treatment. In order to effect this transformation, however, there needs to be investment into IT infrastructure, staffing, training, and an understanding of the technical requirements and governance frameworks, which can pose a considerable challenge to departments with limited budgets approaching the technology for the first time.
Working with the NHS
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