Ending Pathology’s Analog Era: Proscia’s 2019 in Review

Scott Rayburn
By Scott Rayburn | January 21, 2020

The new year brings a new set of exciting challenges and goals for Proscia as we continue our mission to perfect cancer diagnosis with intelligent software that changes the way the world practices pathology. As we look forward to a great 2020, we recognize the value of looking back on what happened in the market and at Proscia to advance this mission.

With the 150-year-old microscope-driven practice of pathology-as-we-knew-it coming to an end, the adoption of digital pathology accelerated in 2019 as labs, pathologists, and technology partners like Proscia all worked to overcome a workforce shortage, a rise in biopsies, and the inherent subjectivity of diagnosis.

Furthermore, the regulatory climate became increasingly favorable, with yet another major scanner company receiving FDA clearance to market its slide scanners for primary diagnosis, signifying a further breakdown of regulatory barriers that have slowed the adoption of digital.

As the market continues its wholesale shift from glass to digital, 2020 promises to be an even bigger year for Proscia. So, before we get too far into the new year, let’s take a moment to review some highlights from 2019! 

Building the First Platform that Realizes the Promise of Digital Pathology

At Proscia, we’re committed to making pathology radically more efficient and eliminating subjectivity while delivering material economic and scientific benefits at scale. In 2019, we delivered a platform to make that possible, building upon Concentriq® — Proscia’s industry-leading image management system (IMS) and launchpad for computational pathology — to do so. Here’s the story of how it happened.

Over the course of the year, we made four significant releases of Concentriq. Two were geared toward priming Concentriq for Research to handle the most complicated multi-site global configurations at scale, while the other two releases focused on optimizing Concentriq Dx to accelerate clinical workflows. Overall, we rolled out over 100 user-driven features in 2019.

We built out a robust quality management system (QMS) to ensure Concentriq Dx complies with European In Vitro Diagnostic Regulations. Concentriq Dx received CE Mark for primary diagnosis in November, underscoring Proscia’s commitment to providing high-quality solutions to meet the needs of pathology laboratories and cancer patients in the EU and affiliated countries.*

We invested heavily in future-proofing Concentriq for our customers, supporting every single whole slide image format — from Leica to Philips to Zeiss — while remaining completely scanner-agnostic and vendor-neutral.

We entered into a long-term partnership with Dell Technologies, enabling us to deliver enterprise-grade infrastructure along with the software — Concentriq — that laboratories require for successful adoption of digital pathology, whether in the cloud, on prem, or hybrid.

We grew our base to more than 3,000 users across leading clinical laboratories and life sciences organizations, including Henry Ford Health System, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, NIH, Agilent, NSA Labs, and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, giving us access to over one million whole slide images. Concentriq now ingests more images than are processed by the 8th largest lab in the U.S. every month and, at this current pace, will ingest more data than the largest lab in the U.S. by the end of 2020. 

And that’s just the platform. Well, not just the platform. Because with Concentriq, we’ve created the first and only image management system that also serves as a launchpad for computational applications — a foundation for the accelerated commercialization of specialty-specific AI applications and realizing the full promise of digital pathology. 

Speaking of AI applications, we released DermAI™, a deep learning technology with proven, real-world use cases to help dermpath labs increase efficiency, improve quality, and achieve better business outcomes.

We trained and tested the DermAI algorithm using over 20,000 patient biopsies from leading academic and commercial laboratories. The scope of this study makes it the largest AI validation effort in the history of pathology.

But our AI story is only just beginning. More AI applications are coming, made possible through our massive repository of high-quality, diverse pathology data along with partnerships with leading medical and academic institutions, including a new collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Finally, Proscia secured two patents for proprietary techniques and methods, including a U.S. patent for our system and method of processing medical images for inspection or analysis as well as a U.S. patent for AI-powered dermatopathology

Advancing the Fight Against Cancer as a Team in 2020

None of this would have been possible without the passion, intelligence, and commitment of our Proscia family. In 2019, we tripled the size of our organization, adding more people who believe in our mission and purpose. This included the addition of two industry leaders, with Mike Bonham, Md, PhD, an experienced pathologist, joining as Chief Medical Officer and Arun Ananthapadmanabhan, former Head of Computational Pathology at Philips, joining as Executive VP, Global Growth.

In the day-to-day of building technology and growing our community, it is easy to lose sight of why we are doing what we’re doing. But our company is fundamentally about people — the patients and their caregivers just trying to get through the day. We hope to never lose sight of those impacted by cancer and have partnered with the American Cancer Society, pledging a portion of our 2020 revenue to the ACS Hope Lodge program.

Our new year is off to a great start as we keep the momentum going from last year. We’re now better positioned than ever before to accelerate research breakthroughs and improve patient outcomes with our enterprise-scale platform and AI modules, changing the practice of pathology as we grow commercial adoption. 

What’s next? You’ll have to wait and see.

*In the U.S., Concentriq Dx is not cleared by the FDA for use in primary diagnosis.

New to digital pathology? Learn how whole slide imaging is changing the industry here.

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