Aperio Technologies develops and sells microscopy systems for pathology that provide what they call digital pathology or virtual microscopy:
that delivers consistent and accurate results, faster than traditional
methods. It consolidates macro (gross) and micro (slide) information
with case histories, work lists, reports, associated images and
documents, and also with automated entire-slide analysis and CAD
(computer aided diagnosis). It facilitates immediate access to
information contained in glass microscope slides, from anywhere, and
provides powerful tools for the instant archival and intelligent
retrieval of histo-pathological data. Virtual microscopy — the
practice of converting entire glass microscope slides to high
resolution digital slides that can be viewed, managed and analyzed —
is the key technology that enables digital pathology. Digital pathology
is compatible with PACS (picture archiving and communication systems)
and supports the vision of an enterprise-wide healthcare IT solution
aimed at the electronic medical record (EMR).
Virtual microscopy is the practice of converting entire glass microscope
slides to high resolution digital slides – entire-slide images that can
be remotely viewed, quantitatively analyzed, and readily annotated, shared
and managed, all without a traditional microscope. Aperio's line of ScanScope
Systems delivers automated high-speed digital slide creation, management,
and analysis for pathology. Archival and retrieval, quality assurance,
frozen section interpretation, secondary consultations, and entire-slide
image analysis are all improved with the ScanScope System.
The system is comprehensive, including tissue microarrays, toxicology pathology,
image analysis, workflow systems (PACS), telepathology, frozen sections,
hematopathology, and cytology. While their support of DICOM is not clear on their web site, they do have a board member, Ulysses Balis, M.D., who is involved in the DICOM Structured Reporting Working Group. They just closed a $17 million Series B round in November, 2005. Just this week they hired a new VP of legal, regulatory, and compliance, who will be defining their, “FDA strategy and leading the legal and compliance functions.” It seems from the press release (“…Company Gears up to Receive Regulatory Approval for Its Digital Pathology Solutions”) that some or all of their system lacks a 510(k), limiting the ability of customers to use the system to generate patient diagnoses.
This company is so cool they even have a blog – oops, the most recent post is from last August. Given that microscopy image management systems are, ahem, rather a new thing; a blog would seem to be a useful tool in educating the market about the benefits of virtual microscopy.