DIGITAL PATHOLOGY ENABLING REMOTE OPERATIONS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND BEYOND-PATHOLOGIST PERSPECTIVE FOR FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES
Objective: Digital Pathology has become widespread across the globe not only for research and educational purpose but also for primary diagnosis. Digital pathology tools not only provide qualitative results but also help in remote consultation. Developing nations are still struggling and relying on conventional methods for primary diagnosis. The main hindrance behind this slow adoption is that digital pathology tools are very expensive and require trained technical staff. This survey was conducted to know the basic knowledge of digital pathology terminologies and the pathologist’s opinion working in Pakistan.
Material and Methods: Cross sectional survey of pathologists was conducted across the country during September– October 2020. Around 150 pathologists from different sub specialties took part in this online survey conducted through google forms. We asked 14 questions, 13 questions were close ended and last question was asked regarding pathologist perception about digital pathology. Descriptive statistics were used to present the data.
Results: A total of 147 pathologists completed the survey. Out of 147, majority were histopathologists (36.7%), 74% were consultants. 75% had the idea of digital pathology while rest had no idea. 68% pathologists found difficulty in routine working during Covid-19 pandemic. 95% pathologists were in favor that digital pathology is a helpful tool for diagnosis. Conclusion: Though results were not very encouraging but at least majority of pathologists had the idea of this novel technique. What we need is the use of these tools and techniques by the established organizations and developed countries.
Key Words: COVID-19, Digital pathology, Pathologists.