Aster Labs, the diagnostics arm of Aster DM Healthcare, a leading healthcare service provider in the country, has introduced US FDA approved digital pathology solution by Philips Intellisite Pathology Solutions for primary diagnosis at its state of the art reference lab located at Queens Road in Bangalore and at Aster Medcity in Kochi. With the inclusion of this cutting-edge technology, Aster Labs is looking to completely digitize its histopathology workflow and will be taking a step towards building a networked pathology system in the country. The decision to implement digital pathology solutions at its centers is an important milestone for the brand as it further strengthens its commitment towards making world-class diagnostics accessible to every Indian.
As the incidences of chronic and complex diseases such as cancer have been on the rise in recent years, the need and demand to revamp the pathology industry in the country is now being realized more than ever before. Technology, both in the field of scanning and IT, has now finally met the necessary standards for digital pathology, in terms of software maturity and network, computing, and storage capability. Digital pathology, thus, now has the potential to provide solutions to the immediate implications of or patient care as well as the digital workflow. It can efficiently eliminate issues with handling material and could detect abnormalities as they occur. Hence, with digitization, Aster Labs will be looking to streamline its workflow, sharpen its diagnostic processes and facilitate greater partnerships, and collaboration among all its stakeholders regardless of location.
Speaking on this initiative, Dr. Harish Pillai, CEO, Aster Hospitals and Clinics, India, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact across industries and healthcare in particular. Currently, every aspect of the industry from diagnosis to treatment is undergoing tremendous change. This has created an urgency in the healthcare industry, to look for innovative solutions and efficient application of technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Learning. Pathology is one such area that stands to greatly benefit from the inclusion of disruptive technologies. Therefore, with Digital pathology, we are taking a step towards the future on a digital cockpit that will enable precision diagnostics at Aster Labs. Our ultimate clinical objective with digitization is to ensure the right patient case reaches the right subspecialty histopathologist all the time, at the fastest possible time.”
Sharing his views, Mr. K.R. Jayaprakash, Chief Operating Officer, Aster Labs, said: “This advanced technology platform, will not only improve our Turn Around Time (TAT) and bring in efficiency in the reporting system but will also aid our histopathologist in accessing the traditional cases like Appendix and Hysterectomy, etc. irrespective of their location. The best advantage of this technology is that several people can review the slides at the same time, in separate geographies, and through a combination of expert opinions, the team can arrive at the best conclusion that would benefit the patient and will assist them with accurate diagnosis. This will also ease the concern of collateral implications which is often faced by the patents due to human errors. ”
Along with the implementation of digital pathology solutions across all its centers, Aster Labs also plans to build a value-based pool of talent of general histopathologists and aims to become a CoE (Centre of Excellence) for subspecialty FTR (First Time Right) reporting and other advanced subspecialties like transplant pathology, dermatopathology, neuropathology, and renal pathology, etc.
Aster Labs also plans to bring in digital storage of images that can be stored for a period of 24/48/72 hours and will be charged as a premium service to patients and referral clinicians. It will offer this service, as part of our “We will Treat you well “mission. Furthermore, R&D activities including AI-based algorithms on Whole Slide Images ( WSI ) and promotion of academic events are also on the cards of Aster Labs for expanding the capabilities of its digital pathology platform.