The convergence of advanced imaging, automation and powerful analytics, like Natural Language Processing (NLP), machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare and life sciences organizations are bringing together the tools needed for scientists and clinicians to unlock medical breakthroughs at a pace like never before. In emerging advanced imaging workloads, digital pathology is playing a central role by providing an extra layer of information augmenting the overall picture of an individual’s distinct disease state.
With the aging population, healthcare providers have seen an increase in the prevalence of cancer and other diagnostic-intensive diseases amidst a global shortage of pathologists and laboratory services to provide diagnoses. Due to the accelerating growth in diagnostic information, health IT departments are being tasked with providing the infrastructure to digitize tissue sample slides.
Turning the slides into digital files enables pathologists to view, analyze, and manage these images with the use of technology. Electronically capturing tissue samples not only digitizes the images, but also opens up a whole new world of opportunities, including:
The true value of digital pathology: leveraging data to create actionable insights.
In order for digital pathology to empower precision medicine, augment the pathology workflow and lead to medical advancements, significant data management challenges need to be addressed in a seamless way. These includes:
Providing expandable storage: A single slide captured by a Whole Slide Imaging (WSI) scanner can be 2-3 GB in size. Multiply that by hundreds of slides imaged per day, and it’s clear to see why expandable capacity is required to maintain an ever-growing repository of historical image data.
Categorizing unstructured data: On its own, the digital image of a scan is not much more useful than the physical slide. For an image to have value, it needs to be ingested into a structured system—with fast access for collaborative purposes. This involves the creation of hundreds of annotated tags to go with the image, requiring high-performance computing power and AI-enhanced processing.
On its own, the digital image of a scan is not much more useful than the physical slide. For an image to have value, it needs to be ingested into a structured system — with fast access for collaborative purposes. This involves the creation of hundreds of annotated tags to go with the image, requiring high-performance computing power and AI-enhanced processing.
This metadata, along with medical notes, must be combined with the digital images and placed together into object storage and attached to the patient’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR).
Offering anytime, anywhere access: Digital pathology image data and its tags need to be accessible both within the local healthcare facility and across the wider medical community for primary diagnosis, remote consults via telepathology and virtual peer review for difficult-to-diagnose cases as well as for clinical trials, education and research.
When these images are not stored in a silo but are integrated with a Laboratory Information System (LIS), an EMR and other systems, this approach ensures data portability for a complete patient view.
The benefits of digital pathology are maximized when this integrated data architecture is combined with high-performance computing, fast servers, flexible scale-out network storage, and direct, secure access to a multi-cloud environment with big data analytics capabilities. Dell Technologies, leveraging our partner ecosystem, plays a central role in providing an interoperable network for digital pathology.
Dell Technologies offers a portfolio of solutions that span the entire digital pathology IT environment from high-performance compute and high-resolution displays to servers, networking, storage and software to multi-cloud and big data analytics platforms. Our digital pathology solutions include:
Dell EMC Isilon—the industry’s #1 family of scale-out network-attached storage systems—and Dell EMC ECS Object Storage provide the high performance and scalability options needed to grow dynamically as imaging data is supplied by WSI scanners. A full range of options are available and work with your multi-cloud environment or on premises—from all-flash devices for extreme performance to lower-cost archival solutions as well as object-storage platforms able to manage unstructured data at exabyte scales Dell Technologies provides solutions that enable pathology data stored on an Isilon platform to be located, provisioned, and executed quickly, with the ability to identify specific data sets by any number of parameters such as patient name, disease type, date, or unique patient identifier—from anywhere across the globe.
Modern infrastructure from Dell Technologies helps facilitate digital pathology applications by providing critical solutions and partnerships to turn data into insights at every stage of the digital pathology workflow (Figure 1).
A ready bundle for your digital pathology workflow including high-throughput scanning, real-time indexing and secure, managed access to digital slide repository and pathology reports inside and outside the organization.
From the slide to the data center to the cloud, our offerings enable pathologists, researchers and healthcare systems to ingest and analyze data in real time; provide meaningful, actionable insights; retain data for deeper analysis; and seamlessly share data with collaborators, patients, payers and healthcare and life sciences organizations to improve outcomes.