Dog Days are (almost?) Over: Part Two

Welcome to part two of our blog post about digital pathology in the veterinary care setting. You read about Kristin and Rowdy in part one; You may remember that Kristin had to wait 10 days before getting Rowdy’s biopsy results. Frustrated and worried about Rowdy, she wondered why she couldn’t know now. What if Rowdy’s biopsy results could be available not in days, but in mere minutes?


Achieving this “what if” is a reality with digital pathology, specifically fresh tissue scanners that can produce interpretable results from biopsies in a few minutes. In fact, an increasing number of veterinary pathology diagnostic laboratories have integrated digital pathology as their main modality for routine diagnostic work on-site but also off-site for telepathologic diagnosis and secondary consultation. Make no bones about it (pun intended), a fresh tissue scanner is a significant investment. But think of the possibilities! Digital pathology is the opportunity to offer a new standard of care that no other vet can offer. The undoubtedly priceless value of comfort and assuredness comes from immediate results, no waiting over a week for news that could be life-changing. Most any veterinarian can provide biopsy services, but can they provide same-day biopsy results?


Biopsies can still be performed in veterinary clinics. Since digital pathology enables remote capabilities, veterinary pathology specialists (who could be located quite literally anywhere) can immediately access histology images. Fresh tissue scanners are being developed to eliminate the rate limiting step of fixation observed in histology. So, within minutes, the biopsy could be scanned and ready for evaluation while the patient’s owner was in the waiting room. The veterinarian could then deliver the results to the patient’s owner in the same visit. This is helpful for both the pet owner and the veterinarian. For the pet owner, there would be no need to schedule a return appointment to get the results, which can be a source of frustration for pet owners trying to fit a second visit to the vet amongst their other responsibilities. For veterinarians, instead of follow up visits to review results, you could be generating revenue by performing more biopsies or other procedures. Veterinary pathologists could also increase their revenue with access to more consultations via digital pathology. Biopsies are costly, ranging upwards of $1,000 depending on the type of biopsy performed. With digital pathology allowing for more procedures, this could help offset the cost of the system bringing with it a great return on investment. This along with increased workflow efficiency, which we will touch upon next, may even be an opportunity to pass savings on to the owners ordering biopsies for their loved ones.


Workflow efficiency comes naturally with fresh tissue scanners. Veterinarians and their technicians no longer have to deal with prepping, bagging and packaging tissue for the courier service. That time can now be spent tending to higher priority tasks like patient care. For the veterinary pathologist, there’s no wasted time waiting for the courier to arrive with the tissue. And there is no more managing loads of glass slides which is a time consuming task for both the veterinary pathologist and lab staff.


It’s an exciting time for digital pathology as fresh tissue slide scanners for clinical evaluations of human specimens are hitting the market. This same excitement can exist in the veterinary care market, too. Adoption of digital pathology in the veterinary setting could significantly reduce the turnaround time of tissue imaging and provide veterinarians with immediate access to specialist veterinary pathologists who could perform same-day evaluations. For pet owners, this means less time waiting for results, quicker time to diagnosis and treatment if necessary, and more time enjoying the company of their pets.


Built on the vision of better patient outcomes, Instapath was founded in 2017 by engineers and scientists to enable patients to immediately know their cancer diagnosis. Our team made it our mission to develop fast and easy digital pathology technology so diagnosis can be made in minutes instead of days. To learn more about Instapath and our technology, visit https://instapathbio.com or contact us at info@instapathbio.com.


References

Bertram C, Gutner C, Dettwiler M, Kershaw O, Dietert K, Pieper L et al. Validation of Digital Microscopy Compared with Light Microscopy for Diagnosis of Canine Cutaneous Tumors. Vet Pathol. 2018.


How Important Are All Those Expensive Diagnostic Dog Cancer Tests? (2019, April 16). Dog Cancer Blog. www.dogcancerblog.com/articles/choosing-treatments/diagnosis/how-important-are-all-those-expensive-diagnostic-dog-cancer-tests/