Increasing global prevalence of chronic diseases, rising demand for faster and accurate pathology test results, automation of pathology systems and supportive government initiatives are some high impact rendering factors expected to fuel the growth of the digital pathology market over the forecast period. Digital pathology refers to the digitization of conventional pathology lab and tests in order to increase workflow efficiency via faster and accurate analyzes. Additionally, growing demand for novel treatment options, laboratory expenses reduction and better patient care are further likely to drive the growth of the digital pathology market. The global digital pathology market was valued at USD 248.4 million in 2013 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 12.0% over the forecast period.
Digital pathology solutions provide high-resolution sample scanning, virtual storage of digital slides, and analysis & interpretation of histological images on a computer screen or smart phones. It helps pathologist consult other experts across the globe without physical transportation of slides thereby, speeding up the analysis process. Increasing cancer mortality is pushing the need for faster diagnosis mechanisms. According to the W.H.O, a cancer diagnosis is expected to increase by 70% in the next two decades with an estimated 1.41 million misdiagnoses of cancer globally. Manufactures are striving to provide accurate and effective diagnosis solutions pertaining to cancer diagnosis. For example, in March 2015, GE Healthcare via its JV Omnyx, LLC, entered into strategic collaboration with Clarient Diagnostic Services, Inc. in an attempt to accentuate research related to personalized cancer therapeutics.
Global digital pathology market, by region, 2012 – 2022 (USD Million)
North America witnessed the highest market penetrations pertaining to digital pathology technologies. Increasing prevalence of cancer-boosting the demand for fast and accurate diagnostics, the need to effectively manage EMR (Electronic Medical Records) and the presence of favorable reimbursement policies are some key factors attributing to the current market scenario. Trends witnessed in the European digital pathology market are found to be in congruence with North America. Asia Pacific and Latin America are expected to spearhead market growth over the forecast period. The presence of large untapped opportunities in the emerging markets of India, Brazil, and China, increasing use of digital pathology in cancer diagnosis and constantly improving healthcare infrastructure in these countries are some factors expected to drive regional market growth.
WSI (Whole Slide Imaging) or virtual microscopy was found to be the most commonly used technology. The segment’s market dominance is attributed to associated advantages such as scanning of slides at Z axis, multiple magnifications and developing enhanced resolution digital images in a comparatively shorter time span. Additionally, increasing usage of WSI for academic research is also expected to drive market growth in near future. Dynamic telepathology or robotic interactive telepathology is gaining popularity owing to its capability of functioning as bidirectional. It is also helpful in the study of frozen tissue sections. Additionally, features such as real-time imaging and controlled movement associated with dynamic telepathology are expected to drive segment growth during the forecast period.
Digital pathology system found the largest application in disease diagnosis in 2014. Software solutions enable sharing of virtual slides and help experts reach a consensus diagnoses in a relatively shorter time frame. Image analysis via computer-based algorithms provides accurate diagnosis and is instrumental in deciding treatment pattern for chronic diseases such as cancer. The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases triggering the demand for advanced diagnostics is expected to provide further growth opportunities to this digital pathology market. The digital pathology based academics market is expected to grow at the fastest rate over the forecast period. The incorporation of digital pathology in research studies such as tumor morphological study and biomarker profiling are some factors accounting for its rapid growth.
Prominent players of this market include 3DHistech Inc., GE Healthcare, Leica Biosystems, Philips Healthcare, Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., Definiens, Olympus Corporation, Objective Pathology Services, Omynx LLC, LigoLAb LLC, Hamamatsu Photonics Inc., and MicroSkan Technologies. These players, in an attempt to increase market penetration adhere to sustainability strategies such as the introduction of technologically advanced products, entering into strategic collaborations and striving towards capitalizing on the untapped opportunities available in the emerging Asia-Pacific and Latin American markets. For example, In March 2015, Royal Philips (Healthcare) of the Netherlands entered into a joint development agreement with New York (U.S.) based Mount Sinai Health System in order to develop digital image repository of the patient tissue sample and data analytics.
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