2017 Customer Attitudes and Adoption Plans of Digital Pathology Technologies

A Voice of Customer Study to Compare Trends Between Current and Potential Adopters of Digital Pathology Platforms
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Published: 25 Sep 2017

A digital pathology end-user research was conducted to identify trends and developments in the field of digital pathology. The survey sought to collect the key information on usage and adoption and compare the perceptions of current and potential adopters of this technology. For the survey, lab managers and pathologists of pathology facilities were invited to participate in an online survey conducted between June 2017 and July 2017. To qualify for survey participation, respondents had to be working in a private or public laboratory, clinical research institution, reference laboratory, academic medical center laboratory, hospital lab, or diagnostic company that employs digital pathology. Respondents had to be constant users or potential users of this technology. Overall 154 responses were analyzed; more than 77% of the respondents were from the US and nearly 12% were from Europe. A large percent of users are currently using digital pathology tools for research, followed by digital pathology for teaching and education. However, for potential users, automated image analysis topped the list of encouraging areas. It was interesting to note that FDA clearance as a factor did not top the charts in the case of future user. One of the key trends the survey reflected was the transition of digital pathology to cloud pathology, Cloud-based delivery of solutions has proven to decrease burden on IT staff, and is known to reduce installation time and to eliminate the need for costly IT infrastructure. These benefits can truly globalize digital pathology and promote telepathology to a large extent, for a field in which sharing and communication are vital. Nevertheless, Cloud is only a means to deliver the product; the solution must scale, supply a growing set of functionalities, operate with a central cloud infrastructure, and most importantly, provide a HIPAA-compliant and securely accessible environment. Another key trend that emerged was the various criteria required by future adopters of digital pathology. Ease of operation and customer support and training surprisingly led in terms of importance (well ahead of price) during vendor selection; this was a similar trend for current users of digital pathology. Despite some similarities in responses between current and future users, there is significant insight that can be garnered with the differences found between these groups.



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