Digital pathology offers a number of patient and efficiency benefits. For patients — due to high throughput and high speed — it reduces waiting times, provides more precise diagnosis, and can obviously stimulate faster treatment with all this implies in terms of better clinical outcomes.
In terms of efficiency, the nature of the process also enhances the quality of the pathology work-flow. Digital pathology is more accurate and quicker than microscopy, prior case data can be speedily accessed, and data storage allows for long-term predictive analytics. In addition, the sophisticated nature of digital pathology instruments means the ability to offer live zoom and multiple angle views, and the ability to measure multiple areas of interest. All this improves productivity in the short-and long-term.
Digital pathology is driven by ultra-accurate and repeatable motion control systems, and ALIO Industries is proudly providing next-generation motion control solutions to the sector thereby advancing the speed and accuracy of imaging machines.
Bill Hennessey, President ALIO Industries says, “Our stages are perfect for the high-speed, high-quality scanning or imaging necessary for digital pathology. Offering solutions bespoke to the respective instrument’s architecture, we ensure that the final digital pathology instrument occupies minimal space in any laboratory or clinic situation. When scanning slides under a static microscope or camera, an XY(Z) motion control stage shifts the slides to capture images. For this to be effective, image capture must take place quickly and accurately meaning a motion control solution with smoothness (ensuring high resolution images), flatness (ensuring proper z-axis focus), and straightness (reducing overlap between scanning passes while increasing productivity).”
The ability of ALIO stages to move straighter than any other stage on the market means that they allow the production of data with higher resolution and accuracy than from any other motion control supplier. The company offers numerous off-the-shelf options, but stages are also customisable, meaning that ALIO can work in partnership with digital pathology providers at the design stage of process development, achieving the most efficient motion control solutions for specific customer applications.
Hennessey continues, “To ensure accurate and complete tissue sample analysis, high bi-directional repeatability to target small tissue areas is needed. ALIO provides monolithic, low-profile, open-centre X, Y, Z electromagnetic driven stages for such applications, promoting high speed, high throughput, and low friction in a small footprint, scan times being reduced allowing better pre-scan images. Digital pathology is all about parallel paths or a serpentine motion to capture all the data points. ALIO is novel in that our straightness is superior to all other motion control options for this application. This promotes the compiling of data in one pass impossible if stages cannot move parallel with less than 2-3 micron variation. This also make for more precise data since it does not need to be calculated by 6 sigma algorithms that are necessary to get a result from poor motion performance.”