Focus on the Future of Pathology and Lab Medicine

Future pathology services should migrate to local pathology networks. The next generation of pathologists should adopt a patient-centred approach and be more involved in clinical decisions. Pathology should also return to its rightful place in the medical undergraduate curriculum. This article explores some of the challenges and solutions for the future of pathology and lab medicine.

Disruptive innovations

A number of disruptive innovations in pathology and lab medicine have the potential to dramatically change the way the field is practiced. These include integration of artificial intelligence and image analysis, which can offer additional information beyond the human eye. These technologies can also help doctors to better classify diseases into meaningful biological categories.

The field of pathology is also undergoing a digital transformation, and this is being driven by advanced software and high-throughput scanners. These innovations enable pathologists to create high-resolution images of slides without the need for a physical sample. While physical slides are still necessary to analyze and report results, digital pathology has the potential to create a more efficient workflow.


Cost-containment in pathological laboratories is a continuous process aimed at improving productivity and quality. The industry is continuously making changes in management controls, workflow, and instrumentation to maximize efficiency. In this study, we investigated the cost of generating routine and special slides and immunohistochemical slides.

In the United States, laboratory-based tests are considered essential services by the Institute of Medicine. In 2011, the Institute of Medicine included laboratory medicine in its list of essential services. The notion of patient safety in pathology and laboratory medicine reflects the need to minimize harm to patients and improve the quality of care. It includes the prevention of error and continuous improvement of services and procedures.

Flexible working hours

Among the 629 employers surveyed, 524 reported using networking and word-of-mouth as their main recruiting methods. Others reported using specialty society Web sites and recruiters. For each position advertised, the employers received an average of one to 10 applications. Of these, 48 percent said they interviewed no more than four candidates.

Flexible working hours are a great perk for pathologists. Most of them report that they have more time for family life. They also report less stress. The majority of pathologists report being satisfied with their job and compensation. Additionally, they have less burnout, which may be attributable to the time flexibility of the job.

Humanoid technology

While human microscopists are not likely to be replaced by artificial intelligence, the process will change. These new technologies will augment physician-lead pathology workflows and improve diagnostic accuracy. These technologies will also be useful for complex treatment planning. AI and pathologists will likely become natural collaborators rather than competitors.

Currently, human pathologists are the only ones trained to perform this important work. However, artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI) technologies are beginning to be used in this field. AI algorithms are able to recognize patterns and may help with a variety of tasks. They can help with data storage and standardization, improve accuracy, and offer a more accurate prognosis.