May 11, 2023

The Importance of Selecting an Open Platform for Digital Pathology Transformation

Taking your pathology lab digital – and tapping into the benefits that digitization can offer – begins with an important first step: identifying the right platform. A platform is the foundational technology that enables you to employ digital pathology systems and tools; it’s how you connect, power, and access all of the equipment you’ll need for digital diagnosis. Not only does choosing the right platform make every step in your digital transformation thereafter easier, but it defines how digital pathology will take shape at your lab; What systems will you use? How many interfaces will you need to learn? Will you be able to use AI? What will your day-to-day workflow look like? Each of these things are reliant on selecting the proper platform.

Certainly, the right platform fit depends on the needs of your individual lab. Yet no matter what, selecting a platform that is open is critical. An open platform is a system that allows labs the flexibility to integrate outside devices or software to enhance the platform’s functionality. The benefits of such flexibility are immense, but they fall into two defining themes: customization and efficiency.

How Open Platforms Support Customization and Incremental Digitization

An open platform allows for complete customization in that it enables you to choose any vendor you’d like for everything from your scanner to your LIS, and does not lock you into that choice. As your needs change, you can easily add, remove, update or replace systems. For example, you could start with a small, low-volume scanner as you begin your digital transformation and then add on a large volume scanner when you’re ready to ramp up your digital case load.

Similarly, should you choose not to incorporate the use of AI into your practice right away, an open platform, especially one that has been designed with AI in mind, allows you to easily bring it in when you’re ready, without the need for a new viewer or entirely new platform. This will be true for any AI application from any vendor, across any use case; so long as you have chosen a truly open platform, you can employ applications from your platform vendor or any other vendor whose applications support your practice’s needs.

Finally, an open platform allows you to customize exactly how much of your workflow you will connect and automate. Especially as you are first transitioning to digital, you may want to introduce a hybrid workflow that leaves some room for the traditional processes you are used to. As you become more comfortable with digital, however, you may want to bring these processes onto your platform, which may also involve connecting additional hardware or software, or turning on platform tools that were not previously implemented. An open platform allows you to easily do this again and again as the nature of your workflow changes.

How Open Platforms Support Efficiency

Open platforms are also by far the most efficient way to practice digital pathology, as they allow you to put everything you need for end-to-end diagnosis together. This eliminates the need to sign in and out of various applications throughout the day. In this way, you can not only get up and running faster each morning, but you can complete the transition to digital much faster as well. As you will only need to take the time to learn one simple interface, the learning curve is minimal, as is any disruption to your day-to-day work. This also rings true for IT and administrative teams. Where the transition to digital with a closed platform may pose significant time, resource, and cost burdens, open platforms simplify the implementation process to allow a quicker, more cost effective, and lower risk switch to digital.

Further, an open platform can help you realize efficiency gains at many of the more laborious points in diagnosis. For example, rather than manually matching case information to the correct patient in your LIS, you can automate this sync to ensure all the correct information is always aligned with the correct patient. Similarly, you can assign and re-assign cases to pathologists directly within the platform, and this information will propagate to other systems such as the LIS without manual intervention.

Perhaps most importantly, an open platform that has been built to seamlessly support AI integration allows you to effectively visualize and use AI applications, which in themselves offer tremendous efficiency. For example, an AI application that helps you identify areas that are suspicious for cancer might save you time in reviewing particularly small or challenging tumors. These tools can also offer you a greater level of diagnostic confidence, which might allow you to reduce the need for second opinions or additional stains like IHC, which further reduces turnaround times.

The Power of the Paige Platform

The Paige Platform is an open platform that offers all of these benefits and more. It is far and away the most robust platform on the market today, offering:

Fully modern technology: Few platforms today, even those who claim to be cloud-based, are actually built on a fully modern technology stack that leverages the full benefits of the cloud. Paige is. We release updates to our software every week while meeting our state-of-the-art quality management system requirements, which means that we are able to rapidly expand support for new vendors and make continuous improvements to features in near-real time.

Automated digital case creation: We standardize slide images and metadata as we take them in, so that by the time they get to you for review, the data is all stored in a standard, consistent, quality format.

Advanced integration options: Paige integrates with most major scanners and LIS vendors. We offer DICOM support, viewing capabilities for H&E and IHC-stained slides, and functionality across most file types. We have partnered with many leading AI providers such as Mindpeak and Visiopharm to offer access to their applications from within the Paige Platform, and further support the integration of any additional third-party AI.

AI development and deployment capability: Paige has built a software development kit (SDK) part of UnifAI which allows developers to deploy their algorithms and leverage our unique AI visualization and interactions to deliver a seamless experience to the end user, further expanding what is possible with the Paige Platform.

State of the art products: The Paige Platform comes complete with FullFolio™, our digital case manager that offers AI integration to support case prioritization, and FullFocus®, our FDA-cleared1 whole-slide image viewer with advanced digital measurement, annotation, and collaboration tools. As an enterprise-grade solution, Paige offers APIs that you can use to extend and build upon the Paige Platform’s existing functionality. You can also access all of Paige’s industry-leading AI applications, including the first-ever FDA-approved AI for pathology, Paige Prostate Detect, the entirety of the Paige Prostate Suite, the Paige Breast Suite, and our cutting-edge biomarker AI applications.

Complete partnership: Paige works closely with every one of our customers throughout their digital transformation and well beyond. As labs are deciding whether to incrementally implement digital systems or undergo a complete transformation, Paige provides expert insight and helps labs identify the correct solutions for their needs. With expert medical and technical knowledge and dedicated support teams, we are the premiere partner for every phase in your digital journey.

Starting with a closed platform is often like pulling on loose thread from your favorite sweater – you may think you’re just selecting a digital pathology platform, but the next thing you know you’re looking at needing to change to another LIS vendor, or you wind up stuck with a single scanner vendor, and your entire workflow unravels. An open platform is the only way to truly set your lab up for success, even as your needs change over time. The Paige Platform is flexible enough to fit the needs of any size lab, across the globe, and can help you step into the future of pathology, today.

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1In the United States, FullFocus® (K201005) is cleared for clinical use with Philips Ultrafast Scanner.