What is the single most innovative technology you are currently delivering to health systems or medical groups?
We deliver digital pathology services and EMR integration solutions to dermatology clinics in many locations. Dermatologists are able to discuss cases with expert pathologists from many different locations in a way that has never been done before. We’re also developing AI tools that are specific to dermatopathology. Ultimately, humans and the AI working together in pathology will mean lives saved, and we’re at the beginning of this process.
How is your product or service innovating the work being done in these organizations to provide care or make systems run more smoothly?
PathologyWatch greatly reduces the amount of time spent on duplicating data between systems—the reports are accurately and automatically entered into the dermatologist systems. We’re eliminating the faxed reports and walled-garden report access. Digital pathology and EMR integration alone have streamlined clinical workflows and improved the quality of care within dermatology clinics.
What is the primary need fulfilled by the product or service?
The primary need is improved quality of care with decreased cost. We are attacking this problem in the narrow field of dermatology/dermatopathology, but the principles and technology can be expanded well outside of that area. We plan to expand from dermatology to other fields of outpatient medicine within the next two years.
What is the ROI of said product or service?
Our clients have seen up to 75 percent decrease in sample turnaround time, as well as up to 75 percent decrease in the time it takes for physicians to review pathology reports (per internal case study reports).
What are some examples of implementation and outcomes use cases?
- Improved operational efficiency with digital workflows
- Improved patient satisfaction as the physician and patient review pathology together
- Improved patient outcomes because of faster turnaround times
- Improved staff efficiency
(For more information, see the Allen-Taintor and Prairie Lakes Healthcare case studies.)
Who are some of the clients and organizations served by the company?
How has innovation advanced the field of healthcare or the practice of care?
- Increased availability to high-quality care in underserved areas: Geography is no longer a limiting factor, providing opportunities for underserved areas to receive academic-level dermatopathology reads.
- Improved speed and availability of samples for improved patient outcomes: Dermatologists are able to view their slides 24/7 digitally with a web browser (on-demand ability to correlate with pathologic findings).
- Expanded access: Forty-five percent of the world does not have access to cancer diagnostics. AI has the potential to solve this problem.
How is innovation changing lives specifically?
Through patient education, patients are now able to better understand why they do or do not need surgery, because physicians can display the digital pathology images for them. Patient diagnoses are improved, as dermatologists can more quickly and easily correlate pathologic findings with clinical features. Patients are more satisfied with their care, as they are receiving answers more quickly, especially in difficult cases where consultations would normally take additional days or sometimes weeks.
What is the company’s go-forward strategy? What’s next? Which problem is the organization working on now and in the future?
We’re focused on optimizing workflows and technology specific to dermatology and dermatopathology. We plan to expand into other areas of pathology in the future, as well as work to solve the lack of access to pathology globally through the utilization of AI. Ultimately, our goal is to provide affordable, available, and accurate diagnoses to the world’s population.
What are the most significant lessons learned by delivering the innovation, product, and/or service to health systems and/or medical groups?
- Healthcare systems are extremely difficult to work with, as they sometimes employ outdated systems with limited ability to quickly and easily adapt to current technological changes.
- Very few successful healthcare companies are “just software.” You can’t build it and expect they will come. It takes making the right relationships with payers and providers.
- As the healthcare industry continues its digital transformation, significant opportunities exist to improve patient outcomes and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall healthcare system.
- There are many ways to build algorithms. Think long and hard about your end-use case when architecting it and deciding whether to take a supervised or unsupervised approach to building out your algorithms.