Pathology is the medical specialty concerned with the study of blood, urine, and tissue samples to diagnose disease in the body. It has existed in some form or another since the times of Ancient Egypt, as far back as 1500BC.
Traditionally, pathology has used light microscopy to describe the microarchitecture of normal and diseased tissues, and pathologists’ relationship with the microscope underwent very little change between the mid-19th century and late 20th centuries.
It was only in the late 1990s that a new sub-field of pathology began to emerge: digital pathology. This modern form of pathology introduced whole-slide imaging (WSI) scanners, and in the more than 20 years since, various WSI devices with the ability to digitise an entire glass slide, along with computational technology and storage advancements, have transformed the field of pathology.
As The Pathologist 2.0: An Update on Digital Pathology in Veterinary Medicine notes, “digital pathology offers new forms of visualisation, and delivery of images is facilitated in unprecedented ways. This new technology can untether us entirely from our light microscopes, with many pathologists already performing their jobs using virtual microscopy.”
Today, doctors and veterinarians alike rely on digital pathology, and the rapid advancements that continue to materialise further diagnostic accuracy and research development and improve health outcomes in both humans and animals.
Artificial Intelligence in one such advancement in digital pathology. As seen in Telenostic’s revolutionary technology, OvaCyte™, AI can provide users with vital diagnostic information that is delivered in real time. This AI technology processes and analyses the host’s faecal sample in minutes, so veterinarians can avoid the time-consuming and costly process of sending the host animals’ faecal sample to an external laboratory for testing.
Rapid and accurate disease diagnosis such as this in companion, food-producing, and grazing animals is essential to the health of our pets and our food supply as well as to the conservation of wildlife species.
Digital pathology in veterinary science also directly contributes to drug discovery and development, to bring safe and effective drugs to the market for both human and animal use.