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Leading Digital Pathology’s Standardization: Helping Proscia’s Customers Realize the Growing Value of DICOM

Nathan Buchbinder
By Nathan Buchbinder | February 27, 2024

In the dynamic world of healthcare technology, the integration of Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) into digital pathology represents a groundbreaking shift. Proscia’s commitment to DICOM is a reflection of how this standard is redefining the management and utilization of data to change the way we use images to advance our understanding and treatment of disease.

The Strategic Importance of DICOM in Digital Pathology

DICOM’s role in digital pathology is multifaceted and critical for several reasons:


The use of proprietary image formats takes more effort to support, while requiring scanner vendors to create and maintain comprehensive documentation of image format content and structure. Exchange of proprietary image formats requires that all actors in the pathology workflow share a common understanding of each format and may require that some systems are able to transform from one format to another. DICOM enables seamless integration between different digital pathology systems, facilitating the exchange of images and metadata.

Long-term Storage & Infrastructure

DICOM delivers the advantages of a standardized format enabling interoperability and secure, long-term storage of pathology images and metadata.  Often existing IT infrastructure and handling of supporting information can be reused reducing implementation and operational costs.  Long-term storage of standard DICOM images provides confidence that future retrieval of images is ensured.    

Enterprise Imaging & Integrated Diagnostics

More and more hospital-based practices are seeing the involvement from enterprise IT to ensure that the large volume of data generated through the implementation of digital pathology are managed and maintained as an integrated part of the broader healthcare IT ecosystem. Our partnership with Siemens Healthineers positions us well to showcase the benefits of integrated diagnostics and unified enterprise imaging. This delivers new opportunities in terms of clinical benefits, as well as a compelling approach for IT to leverage existing IT assets to support pathology’s digitization.

Data Standardization for AI Development

Moving toward a standardized image storage method will streamline the management of and operation on data in the data lake our customers create on our platform Concentriq. The reduced variability in image formats may also potentially facilitate more effective AI development.

We anticipate the evolution of DICOM in digital pathology will closely track that of radiology.  The digitization of radiology started with proprietary formats; however, the limitations of this approach were quickly realized, resulting in the creation of the DICOM standard.  DICOM was a key enabler of successful PACS implementations – interoperability of basic image reading, reporting, advanced visualization, and AI applications is greatly simplified by using DICOM. Long-term archives based on DICOM objects led to the elimination of film rooms in favor of digital archives.

DICOM now underpins the day to day reading of radiologists and the incredible innovation happening in computational radiology. In pathology, we are confident that DICOM will similarly sit at the heart of technology innovation and its manifestation in the clinical practice of pathology.

Proscia and DICOM: A Perfect Fit

At Proscia, we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the growing adoption of the DICOM standard – it’s a perfect fit to our beliefs about the future of pathology and the technology that sits at the heart of diagnostic medicine.

Even before the DICOM standard was adapted to digital pathology, we recognized and built our products to address many of the same concerns that DICOM does. For example, we saw the pitfalls of closed systems and the harm that a lack of interoperability would have on laboratories looking to invest in a wide range of digital and computational solutions. As a result, we built Concentriq for interoperability with most major scanners. Our APIs were also designed to enable customers and partners to easily incorporate their solutions into our open platform, helping them to “build on Concentriq.

In a similar vein, we recognized early on the IT convergence between pathology and enterprise imaging. Our partnership with Siemens is reflective of our belief that a congruous IT strategy between pathology and the enterprise not only drives faster, easier adoption of digital pathology, but also creates a world of new opportunity for clinical benefit. 

Our commitment to the DICOM standard is the tangible realization of what we’ve historically held as core value pillars of our product: openness & interoperability, intuitiveness, and insight-driving. Our product and partner portfolio positions us uniquely to lead that charge.

Making DICOM a Reality for Proscia’s Customers and Partners

Proscia is dedicated to accelerating the adoption of DICOM in digital pathology. Here are some of the key areas we’re focusing on:

  • Robust Solutions: We’re continually enhancing our solutions to support the needs of DICOM in pathology – from image capture to archiving and retrieval.
  • Collaborations and Partnerships: By teaming up with leading scanner manufacturers and infrastructure providers through our Proscia Ready partner alliance, we ensure our solutions are not only compatible but also at the forefront of technological advancements. This includes the most recent addition to the alliance, Pramana, whose SpectralHT family of scanners natively produce enriched, high quality DICOM images.
  • Leadership in Industry Forums: Our active participation in industry groups like the Digital Pathology Association keeps us at the cutting edge of DICOM developments and standard-setting.
  • Customer Education and Support: We believe in empowering our clients. By educating them about the importance of DICOM and providing robust support, we ensure a smooth transition to these new workflows.

At Proscia, we’re not just part of the digital pathology revolution; we’re leading it. Our commitment to the DICOM standards is a testament to our ethos of innovation and excellence, and most importantly, our shared aim of improving patient care. We’re charting a new course in healthcare technology, and we invite you to join us on this exciting journey.

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