Bela Molnar, M.D., D.Sc., CEO
WHO identifies cancer as the second leading cause of death globally—one out of six deaths is due to cancer. While such stats and numbers might appear to be grisly, early detection of cancer still holds a great promise and can result in a greater probability of survival and affordable treatment.
Unfortunately, this goal of early diagnosis is often not achieved owing to the severe shortages among pathology staff globally. As a result, several hospital networks are being formed, and pathology labs are being consolidated to share resources and expertise. Although such endeavors might help deal with some of the immediate requirements, they cannot address the growing demand for pathology services in the long run. To this end, it has become essential to equip pathologists with comprehensive digital solutions to help them enhance the pathology workflow, ensure quick diagnosis, and, subsequently, cater to a large number of patients.
This where 3DHISTECH comes into the picture. As the first European digital pathology devices manufacturer, the company is dedicated to providing clinical pathologists, researchers, and universities with digital pathology solutions to facilitate quick and accurate diagnostics for supporting medical discoveries and fostering education.
Following is the conversation that MD Tech Review had with Bela Molnar, M.D., D.Sc., the CEO of 3DHISTECH, to understand what makes 3DHISTECH one of the pioneers in digital pathology. He also discusses his company's exclusive focus on offering solutions for routine pathology, cancer, and pharmaceutical research as well as medical education.
Please give insights pertaining to the back-story and the core philosophies that led to the inception of 3DHISTECH?
The company was founded in 1996 with the mission and vision of using digital technology to help pathologists digitalize the traditional pathology workflow and set up an accurate diagnosis quickly. At that time, scanning a glass slide took hours, and the resulting digital slide occupied several compact discs. But, continuous product development put 3DHISTECH on the map along with major international players like Roche, Philips, Leica, and Hamamatsu.
Today, we focus on offering solutions for routine pathology, cancer, and pharmaceutical research and medical education.
Please elaborate on how 3DHISTECH provides clinical pathologists, researchers, and universities with digital pathology solutions to facilitate quick and accurate diagnostics?
We provide clinical pathologists, researchers, and universities with complete digital pathology solutions, including scanners, tissue microarrayers, workflow software, image analysis software, and digital slide viewers. Having such a wide range of products, we can customize our offering according to our clients' needs.
In our PANNORAMIC®
Pathology Diagnostic System—an all-in-one digital pathology solution—we have integrated different software elements to help routine pathology laboratories ensure higher throughput, lower turnaround times, and faster diagnosis.
To illustrate, the system has an integrated CaseManagerTM
pathology information system that provides pathologists with an easy-to-use case management function.
The second generation of the integrated CaseManagerTM
pathology information system gives a pathologist full control of the routine pathology workflow and makes it easy for them to operationalize an accurate diagnosis. It also provides multi-purpose digital pathology workflow support in histopathology, molecular pathology, hematology, cytology, and autopsy.
We provide clinical pathologists, researchers, and universities with complete digital pathology solutions, including scanners, tissue microarrayers, workflow software, image analysis software, and digital slide viewers
All necessary systems (viewer, image analysis, slide storage) are integrated and handled by CaseManagerTM
with a direct connection to the hospital (HIS) and/or laboratory information system (LIS). Therefore, there is no need for a pathologist to log in to multiple systems. Also, all details of a case (patient and registration data, previous cases of the patient, digital slides, macroscopic images, and other attachments and the final report form, etc.) are visible on a single screen.
Further, a powerful clinical viewer application—integrated into CaseManagerTM
—offers a unique 9-slide parallel view. It also provides automatic slide alignment, synchronization of serial sections, and advanced annotation options. The viewer displays the patient ID and staining information to avoid case confusion. The system also has integrated clinical image analysis modules that provide a pathologist with a quantitative image analysis framework and generate accurate, fast, and high-quality analytical results. For example, three modules (Estrogen, HER2, and Progesterone) with IVD approval help quantify solid tumor cases. What's more, all the macroscopic images and digital slides can be saved in a digital slide-based image server.
More importantly, CaseManagerTM
is highly secure. Its cybersecurity features include brute-force protection, HTTPS protocol for communication, advanced user and permission management features, and encryption of patient and user data. CaseManagerTM
is also a scalable system suitable for a single user as well as many concurrent users.
Another component of the PANNORAMIC®
Pathology Diagnostic System is PANNORAMIC®
Diagnostic Scanners—a new line of digital slide scanners dedicated to routine pathology use—that offer one-touch, fast and high-quality automatic scanning according to the needs of routine pathology laboratories. All PANNORAMIC®
Diagnostic Scanners use the same optical system (camera, adapter, and illumination) to ensure an identical reproduction of slides on all three scanners.
Diagnostic Scanners are powered by the PANNORAMIC® Diagnostic Scanner Software. Its key features include:
• Automated self-calibration, tissue detection, and scanning for ease of use
• Excellent image quality for accurate diagnosis
• Advanced data security features
Adding to this, we have integration services to ensure the seamless integration of CaseManagerTM
with existing LIS and HIS. 3DHISTECH offers several options from system integration consultation to full, custom-level integration to existing systems—using either XML- or HL7-based communication protocol.
Disclaimer: The performance evaluation (for the in vitro diagnostics clearance) is pending for the PANNORAMIC Diagnostic System in the European Union.
What steers 3DHISTECH ahead of the competition?
We are a digital pathology company. Meaning, we are involved exclusively in developing, manufacturing, and marketing digital pathology hardware and software for our clients. Therefore, we offer the widest range of solutions in this field. Our competitors, in contrast, are involved in a number of very diverse industries, from consumer electronics through pharmaceuticals to optical products, and thus their focus is inevitably different.
Also, our continuous development mindset and flexibility tend to drive clients to choose us over more renowned competitors.
Please elaborate on a case study where 3DHISTECH helped its clients overcome their challenges and attain desired outcomes.
For IPATIMUP, an independent pathology laboratory in Portugal, we introduced a fully digital pathology workflow, including the implementation of a barcode-based laboratory information system and state-of-the-art laboratory equipment with a high-throughput PANNORAMIC®
1000 digital slide scanner. This enabled IPATIMUP to process nearly 500 slides or 250 cases per day.
What lies ahead for 3DHISTECH?
3DHISTECH is already represented in 80+ countries through a competent distributor network. We are constantly looking for opportunities to enter new markets—both geographically and in terms of new market segments, such as geology (petroleum exploration).