Digital Pathology Market is a trending phenomenon where imaging plays a pivotal role in converting glass slides to digital slides. These digital slides are further accessed, modified, analyzed and stored in a digital environment to achieve a quick, accurate and budget-friendly diagnosis, predict and prevent many chronic diseases including cancer. Started back in 1900 with photographic plates, the technology advanced further to telepathology in 1980 and then to digital pathology in 2000.
Recent advancements in whole slide imaging, augmented software applications, fast processing and swift networking are some of the growth factors for the rise of digital pathology market in contemporary times. It helps the pathologists to improve the work efficiency in a more lucid manner to produce the most accurate results swiftly and transparently.
The market value for digital pathology as per the available statistical information is more than $340 Million and is predicted to grow at the compound annual growth rate of 12% to 14% to reach a value higher than $750 Million by 2022. The largest pie of the market is registered from North America, followed by Europe, Asia Pacific and rest of the World. Asia Pacific market alone is expected to grow at an annual rate of 13% till 2022 due to the increased investments in the medical sector. Whole slide imaging contributed to the major portion of market revenue among the different segments of digital pathology. Biotechnology firms, hospitals, pharma companies, and diagnostic centers combined together contributed around 70% of the total digital pathology market.
Key factors influencing the growth of digital pathology market
Discovery of new chronic diseases
Although cures are readily available for many chronic diseases, a new variety of ailment or virus will be discovered on regular basis, challenging the medical sciences. In order to cope-up with the diseases, the diagnosis process will also be given special interest boosting the growth of techniques like digital pathology. Much technological advancement will be introduced in the pathology process for a swift prognosis.
Remote access to slides
The processed digital slides with their result can be shared or observed by the patients and their doctors from any location over a digital screen without any discrepancies. Any kind of research, prognosis procedures and insights about the disease can be shared over the internet.
Reduction in overall costs
Due to the transparency of the diagnosis over the internet, the cost incurred for multiple diagnoses and their sharing can be controlled. A digital pathology prognosis performed once can be equal to multiple tests performed for some diseases. And importantly, the remote access to the results can tremendously reduce the typical costs involved in visiting different doctors for their opinions.
Proper value of time
Digital pathology provides several useful features that can precisely display the affected areas, like a simple zoom in functionality. A lot of manual work involving papers can be avoided and since the reports are shared with the patients over the digital platform, reducing the loss of time for waiting to get their results.
The major market contributing companies of digital pathology are GE Healthcare, Philips Healthcare, Olympus Corporation, Leica Biosystems, Hamamatsu Photonics, Ventana Medical Systems, 3DHistech Inc, Omynx LLC, Objective Pathology services, and few others. Of these, Olympus Corporation, Leica Biosystems, and Hamamatsu Photonics account for the major portion of the market revenue.
Recent breakthroughs in the market involve the acquisition of Irish PathXL by Royal Philips, merging of Leica Biosystems with Leeds Hospital, concentrated mainly in the shift of traditional diagnosis to more digital-based prognosis, providing the world-class treatment for the people. Investments are made to induce more technology into the field of pathology to improve the quality and enhance the accuracy of outcomes.
North America, being the dominant region of the market continues to grow due to the availability of cutting-edge technological system, improvements in image processing, and the major operating companies in the vicinity. With the increasing opportunities and regular investments in the medical field, Asia Pacific will give a tough fight in terms of total share.
The continuous research and development in the fields of information technology and medical sciences pave a way for more reliable future in digital pathology. The artificial intelligence helps in the development of supporting systems that help people in understanding their diagnosis accurately, increasing the personal medication procedures. Hybrid telepathology is rumored to dominate the current system, combine all the available features today.
However, high maintenance costs, security concerns, improper slides selection, and operational setup expenses may slightly act as inhibitors in the growth of the digital pathology market.