Introduction: The transition to digital pathology has been carried out by several laboratories across the globe, with some cases described in Portugal. In this article, we describe the transition to digital pathology in a high-volume private laboratory, considering the main challenges and opportunities.
Material and methods: Our process started in 2020, with laboratory workflow adaptation and we are currently using a high-capacity scanner (Aperio GT450DX) to digitize slides at 20×. The visualization system, Aperio eSlide Manager WebViewer, is integrated into the Laboratory System. The validation process followed the Royal College of Pathologists Guidelines.
Results: Regarding validation, the first phase detected an error rate of 6.8%, mostly due to digitization errors. Phase optimization and collaboration with technical services led to improvements in this process. In the second validation phase, most of the slides had the desired quality for evaluation, with only an error rate of 0.6%, corrected with a new scan. The interpathologist correlation had a total agreement rate of 96.87% and 3.13% partial agreement.
Conclusion: The implementation and validation of digital pathology was a success, being ready for prime time. The total integration of all laboratory systems and the acquisition of new equipment will maximize their use, especially with the application of artificial intelligence algorithms.
Keywords: Digital pathology; Implementation; Validation.
© 2023 The Authors.