How to Overcome Challenges of Digitization in Pathology and Histopathology?

Undoubtedly, digital pathology has boosted diagnostic efficiency and made information sharing easier and faster. However, there are certain areas where existing barriers make it difficult to realize its full potential. The key hurdles include equipment costs, lack of standardized protocols, integration complexity, and technology stability issues. Overcoming these barriers requires effective planning, cooperation, and financial support.


Digitization in pathology and histopathology is an important development in today’s working scenario. Due to its advantages, digital pathology has become a critical aspect of the daily activities performed in the diagnosis of diseases. Some of the key benefits of digital pathology are workflow optimization, seamless information exchange, and effective treatment plans. Although there are many advantages associated with digital pathology and histology systems, these technologies have certain limitations.  Drawbacks include the high cost of hardware, intermittent software failure patterns, non-standardized procedures, and the need for strong links between laboratory information systems (LIS) and electronic health record (EHR) systems. To make things right during digital pathology procedures, the participants involved need to engage in appropriate planning, implementation and collaborate harmoniously. It is also important that finances be supported from everywhere. We shall now look at some of the major problems confronted by health practitioners practicing.

Overcoming the Challenges of Digitization in Pathology

Among the most difficult issues associated with translating pathology and histopathology into digital form is the question of acceptance of artificial intelligence (AI). Although AI may seem ready to realize its great potential on a large scale, the actual practice paints another picture. Multiple factors have hindered the application of AI in medical and other fields. Although the desire to see AI in practice is growing, the goal remains unclear.

United Efforts Required

Many obstacles remain. They require united efforts from both individual people and medical establishments so that they can be cleared. Digital pathology and histopathology will only realize their full potential if we remove these barriers.

Paradigm Shifts

This presents a challenge at conceptual and cultural levels. Two essential paradigm shifts must occur for artificial intelligence to be adopted within pathology and histopathology. One is the use of digital pathology for cancer diagnostics and pathological assessments with the second being moving away from human-based diagnosis towards that of AI-based one. To successfully apply AI, you must stop doing things as usual and accept a digitized process flow.

Quality Control, Biases, and Ground Truth

Quality and diversity of the source data are important during fixation, cutting, and staining tissues. Additionally, the requirements could vary among labs leading to altered morphologies. This is a situation that can be overcome by ensuring standardization in preanalytical and data handling workflows.

Validity as a Biomarker

One of the major obstacles for having confidence in AI tests is ensuring their technical validity. They essentially function as objective identifiers for normal biological or psychological activities, internal disturbances that cause diseases, variations in responses to medication as seen within pharmacology. Therefore, the tasks must be consistent with their purpose. Additionally, strict validation procedures and precise evaluation criteria must be established. Procedures should focus on testing system performance and evaluating how an AI algorithm performs compared to others when applied to specific tasks.

Regulatory Approval

The approval process for digital diagnostic tools used in hospital settings is demanding and requires rapid changes. Furthermore, these changes must comply with the medical device standards of the respective nation; it should be noted that regulations vary from place to place. For example, European Union, the United States, and other major markets have their own regulatory system. The digitization of pathology practices requires approval procedures and compliance with court-specific regulations.

Financial Challenges

It is expensive to convert pathology and histopathological labs to digital. This is due to expensive hardware cost and setup. The costs incurred in slide scanning and backing up of data are minute however they persist. After every couple of years, there also emerge fixed costs when devices become obsolete, and a new generation of devices emerges. To overcome this situation in the future, health insurance providers and single payers must anticipate possible prospects where costs can be slashed, and evaluation of clinical trials improved, leading to better outcomes for patients. Additionally, stakeholders should first find ways to reduce costs without compromising quality.

Challenges in Low-resource Countries

Pathology and histopathology digitization challenges in low-resource countries also pose implementation difficulties. Such difficulties are more pronounced in places without enough pathologists in this area. Sometimes there is a need for high bandwidth, which limits the application of this technology in low-resource countries.

Core Requirements

Only low-quality images are produced in places where the internet is only available via dial-up because of frequent timeouts, whereas it is considered more reliable to work on producing high-quality images within local networks. Initial investments are required for infrastructure development that concentrates on enhancing internet connections, electricity access and computer hardware availability.

Affordable Technology

Secondly, cheap solutions such as open-source software usage, the existing infrastructure and affordable alternatives search for digital pathology equipment must be considered. The availability of affordable technology options can be possible through partnerships with manufacturers, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations.


The digitization of pathology and histopathology has numerous benefits for both pathologists and patients, but it has its challenges too. Often the hindrances are associated with expensive equipment and high costs of internet connection, instability in equipment and lack of standardization especially in countries with limited resources. One of the biggest challenges that these countries face is that there are inadequate staff to handle pathology and histopathology working with digitization. With proper planning such as training programs at grass root levels, these barriers may be overcome. The use of PreciPoint’s scanners, microscopes and services is beneficial in alleviating the digital pathology challenges in these states. Because of their small size and portability, PreciPoint’s devices can be used in areas where space is limited, or they need to work remotely opening possibilities for more people to use the digital pathology services they provide. PreciPint products allow easy and quick conversion of microscope slides in digital form and sharing opportunities with others online.