Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7

The history of pathology informatics: A global perspective

1 Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
2 Department of Pathology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
3 Department of Anatomical Pathology, and National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa
4 Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
5 International Academy of Telepathology, Heidelberg, Germany
6 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Biomedical Informatics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA
7 Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
8 Hospital General de Ciudad Real, Ciudad Real, Spain
9 Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, NSW, Australia
10 Institute of Pathology, University Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
11 Institute of Pathology, Charite, Berlin, Germany
12 Centre for Health Informatics and e-Health Research, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia
13 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Calgary, and Calgary Laboratory Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
14 Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Iwate Medical University, Iwate Prefecture, Japan
15 Weiner Consulting Services, Florence, OR, USA
16 Dennis Winsten and Associates, Inc., Healthcare Systems Consultants, Tucson, AZ, USA

Correspondence Address:
Seung Park
Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2153-3539.112689

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Pathology informatics has evolved to varying levels around the world. The history of pathology informatics in different countries is a tale with many dimensions. At first glance, it is the familiar story of individuals solving problems that arise in their clinical practice to enhance efficiency, better manage (e.g., digitize) laboratory information, as well as exploit emerging information technologies. Under the surface, however, lie powerful resource, regulatory, and societal forces that helped shape our discipline into what it is today. In this monograph, for the first time in the history of our discipline, we collectively perform a global review of the field of pathology informatics. In doing so, we illustrate how general far-reaching trends such as the advent of computers, the Internet and digital imaging have affected pathology informatics in the world at large. Major drivers in the field included the need for pathologists to comply with national standards for health information technology and telepathology applications to meet the scarcity of pathology services and trained people in certain countries. Following trials by a multitude of investigators, not all of them successful, it is apparent that innovation alone did not assure the success of many informatics tools and solutions. Common, ongoing barriers to the widespread adoption of informatics devices include poor information technology infrastructure in undeveloped areas, the cost of technology, and regulatory issues. This review offers a deeper understanding of how pathology informatics historically developed and provides insights into what the promising future might hold.

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