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European Digital Pathology 2021 European Digital Pathology 2021
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European Digital Pathology 2021
Adoption Grows for Primary Diagnosis

author - Eder Lagemann
Eder Lagemann
author - Jonathan Christensen
Jonathan Christensen
author - Sidney Tate
Sidney Tate
December 16, 2021 | Read Time: 6  minutes

Use of digital pathology for primary diagnosis has recently seen a rapid increase in both interest and adoption, thanks to benefits like improved efficiency and remote reading/telepathology capabilities (see KLAS’ 2019 report). The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred even greater consideration of remote-reading options, and some organizations are looking to digital pathology to mitigate anticipated pathologist shortages in the future. Overall, Europe has seen the greatest adoption of digital pathology. For this report, KLAS interviewed pathology groups across 15 European countries who are live with digital pathology for primary diagnosis. The following pages share performance insights on Philips, Sectra, and Tribun Health—the market leaders in considerations and live customers for digital pathology image management systems (IMS).

† Use of digital pathology for research purposes is much more widespread and is not the focus of this report. Most primary diagnosis done today is for histology cases; cytology use cases are currently much less common.

Digital Pathology Growing Rapidly in Europe; Philips, Sectra, Tribun Health Lead in Adoption

Philips was the first vendor to offer a digital pathology solution and have live clients doing primary diagnosis. They are considered in nearly every purchase decision tracked by KLAS, and KLAS has validated clients across Europe, including some very large, deeply adopted organizations. Sectra has seen rapid, broad growth in Europe, nearly doubling their live customer base in the region in the last two years (with more under contract). Due to their strong IMS, Sectra is frequently considered in new decisions, especially among their existing radiology PACS clients. Tribun Health, the only digital pathology–specific vendor rated in this report, has seen significant growth in Europe over the last two years. They are considered at a moderate rate and primarily in French-speaking regions, thanks to their price and open IMS. Most clients are in France; the vendor also has one client in Belgium and one in Switzerland.

A number of other vendors have a smaller presence or less energy in primary diagnosis purchase decisions. Inspirata, Leica Biosystems, and Roche Diagnostics have a history in digital pathology. Inspirata (sold by Fujifilm in the UK and a few other European countries) has seen slower growth since their acquisition of the GE Omnyx platform. They have had some recent traction in the UK. Scanners from Leica Biosystems and Roche Diagnostics are widely used in Europe, but the vendors’ IMS platforms are rarely selected for primary diagnosis due to weak functionality. Hologic (who offers a cytology-specific IMS and scanner) and digital pathology–focused Indica Labs and Proscia are all newer entrants to the market. They have had recent wins in Sweden, the UK, and the Netherlands, respectively; Hologic and Indica Labs also each have one live customer for primary diagnosis in Germany.

digital pathology landscape in europe
overall performance score

Tribun Health Delivers Strong, Consistent Customer Experience in French-Speaking Countries

Tribun Health, who has customers in France and the French-speaking areas of Belgium and Switzerland, receives the highest overall score of the three rated vendors in this report. Interviewed customers are generally smaller compared to Philips and Sectra clients, reading less than 30,000 cases per year, only a portion of which are read digitally. CaloPix (Tribun Health’s IMS) is viewed as a strong, open solution with high-quality images and a pathologist-friendly user interface. Customers appreciate Tribun Health’s willingness to listen to their concerns and adjust the system to fit their needs. As Tribun Health has grown in recent years, longtime customers report marked improvement in the vendor’s response times and ability to resolve issues, and they are optimistic that quicker development of CaloPix will come soon.

Sectra’s Well-Developed Solution Leads to Rapid Growth

Sectra has a highly satisfied customer base that has grown quickly and expanded into much of Europe over the last two years. This is driven by Sectra’s strong, well-developed product; respondents say it is fast and stable and provides high-quality images. Respondents using an LIS-driven workflow report it is natural and easy to use for pathologists; the few respondents using IMS-driven workflows have struggled with the user interface and reporting. Sectra is seen as a strong development partner who proactively addresses issues, listens to customers’ needs and suggestions, and consistently rolls out helpful updates. Respondents range from small to large organizations, including two that read over 100,000 cases per year. Multiple Sectra clients have achieved deep adoption of digital pathology, reading all or most of their cases digitally.

Philips Delivers Easy-to-Use, All-in-One Solution; Customers Want Faster Development

key product and support metricsPhilips has a long-established presence in Europe and is deeply adopted—they have the most customers validated as 100% digital for histology cases. Interviewed customers range from small to large organizations, with two that read over 100,000 cases per year. Their IMS, IntelliSite Pathology Solution, is rated high for ease of use because of its fast, fluid image-viewing capabilities and workflows. Customers also speak highly of Philips’ skilled support personnel, who give quick assistance when issues arise. IntelliSite Pathology Solution relies on a proprietary image format and can only be used with Philips’ scanner. This has upsides and downsides for customers—some appreciate that Philips is a one-stop shop for digital pathology, while others feel the all-in-one setup results in slow development and less flexibility to share images with non-Philips sites. Respondents are waiting for these image-sharing functionalities and others, like z-stacking for the scanner. Dissatisfaction with development has hurt customer loyalty for a few advanced client organizations. Philips recently announced they are offering vendor-agnostic options: a new scanner and an updated IMS (not yet validated by KLAS).

Scanners from Hamamatsu Used Most Frequently, Followed by Leica Biosystems & 3DHISTECH

Sectra and Tribun Health have open IMS offerings, and KLAS has validated these solutions paired with a range of scanners. Interviewed organizations most commonly choose to align with a single scanner vendor. Across various European countries, Hamamatsu Photonics’ scanner is used most frequently, followed by Leica Biosystems and 3DHISTECH; notably, Hamamatsu is the dominant scanner vendor in Scandinavian countries. For the most part, customers report no issues with integration between the scanner and IMS. The few integration issues mentioned are between digital pathology solutions and older LIS solutions.

frequency of ims scanner pairing

About This Report

Each year, KLAS interviews thousands of healthcare professionals about the IT solutions and services their organizations use. For this report, interviews were conducted over the last 12 months using KLAS’ standard quantitative evaluation for healthcare software, which is composed of 16 numeric ratings questions and 4 yes/no questions, all weighted equally. Combined, the ratings for these questions make up the overall performance score, which is measured on a 100-point scale. The questions are organized into six customer experience pillars—culture, loyalty, operations, product, relationship, and value.

customer experience pillars software

Sample Sizes

Unless otherwise noted, sample sizes displayed throughout this report (e.g., n=16) represent the total number of unique customer organizations interviewed for a given vendor or solution. However, it should be noted that to allow for the representation of differing perspectives within any one customer organization, samples may include surveys from different individuals at the same organization. Ratings from these individuals are aggregated in order to prevent any one organization’s feedback from disproportionately impacting a solution’s score. The table below shows the total number of unique organizations interviewed for each vendor or solution as well as the total number of individual respondents.

about this reportSome respondents choose not to answer particular questions, meaning the sample size for any given vendor or solution can change from question to question. When the number of unique organization responses for a particular question is less than 6, the score for that question is marked with an asterisk (*) or otherwise designated as “limited data.” If the sample size is less than 3, no score is shown. Note that when a vendor has a low number of reporting sites, the possibility exists for KLAS scores to change significantly as new surveys are collected.

author - Amanda Wind Smith
Amanda Wind Smith
author - Natalie Jamison
Natalie Jamison
author - Jill Wilcock
Project Manager
Jill Wilcock
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.