Digital Pathology, Eyesight to AI sight – Transforming lab workflows digitally through artificial intelligence

April 21, 2023by ET Healthworld

Across the world, an acute shortage of pathologists is dogging diagnostics and treatment of a range of diseases. According to one study, there are just over 102,000 pathologists worldwide and 13.2 million medical doctors, which translates into the dismal statistic of one pathologist for every 125 doctors. At 50-65 pathologists per 1 million people, North America has the highest density of pathologists, but the United States is staring at an impending shortage of these medical professionals who work behind the scene. While Europe suffers from a moderate shortage of pathologists with 26 per million population, the shortage is more severe in Asia with 6.8 pathologists per million population and is extremely critical in Africa with less than 4 pathologists per million population.

This shortage of pathologists means a slow rate of detection of diseases like cancer, which consequently affects survival rates. Much of Africa is in dire need of digital/AI-enabled pathology/slide microscopy. For example Uganda has only 18 WHO-certified Level 1 pathologists. The average time between a woman in Uganda presenting with breast cancer symptoms and finally being diagnosed is 11 months due to the unavailability of histopathology analyzers.

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