Whole slide imaging is an imaging technique used to produce digital slides. It is the most recent imaging modality being employed by pathology labs worldwide. Healthcare organizations rely on whole slide imaging to save a digital scan of the entire histology result. It is an advanced digital imaging technique implemented by pathologist worldwide. This is commonly achieved by capturing many small high-resolution image tiles or strips and montaging them to create a full image of a histological section. Whole slide imaging also allows user to preserve pathology data in high-resolution digital files. Digital pathology with whole-slide imaging has numerous potential clinical and non-clinical applications.
The global whole slide imaging market is estimated to account for US$ 808.03 Mn in terms of value by the end of 2022.
Growing applications of whole slide imaging (digital pathology) is expected to augment growth of the global whole slide imaging market during the forecast period. Whole slide imaging is the most recent imaging modality being employed by pathology departments across the globe. For instance, In October 2019, Olympus Corporation announced the launch of its SLIDEVIEW VS200 solution. It is a research slide scanner that can capture high-quality virtual slide images and allow advanced quantitative image analysis of samples related to different applications, such as the brain, cancer, and stem cell research and drug discovery.
Increase in prevalence of cancer around the world is expected to provide lucrative opportunities for players in the global whole slide imaging market. For instance, whole slide imaging is one of the emerging fields of digital pathology as it explores different methods and applications to enhance clinical care and cancer diagnosis. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2022, there will be an estimated 1.9 million new cancer cases diagnosed and 609,360 cancer deaths in the United States. Cancer continues to be the second most common cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease. This in turn is expected to increase the use of whole slide imaging.
Stringent regulatory framework and high cost of whole slide imaging are some major factors expected to hinder growth of the global whole slide imaging market. For instance, barriers to adoption of whole slide imaging include image quality, problems with scanning all materials (cytology slides), cost, digital slide storage, limiting technology, regulatory barriers, inability to handle high-throughput routine work, and pathologists' reluctance. In the U.S., technology manufactured for digital pathology (i.e. scanners, software) are considered medical devices and are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).
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Global Whole Slide Imaging Market - Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic
The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a severe impact on the global whole slide imaging market due to nationwide lockdown, supply chain disruption, and traveling restrictions. However, to get over the constraints the COVID-19 outbreak placed on healthcare, digital pathology is used. Regulatory authorities such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are temporarily relaxing their regulations to encourage the use of digital pathology solutions and to reduce the immediate risk of the virus to pathologists. Telepathology solutions are transforming the way patients interact with their physicians, particularly during the pandemic. This in turn is expected to aid in the growth of the whole slide imaging market.
The global whole slide imaging market was valued at US$ 721.55 Mn in 2021 and is forecast to reach a value of US$ 1,627.68 Mn by 2028 at a CAGR of 12.4% between 2022 and 2028.
Among technology, scanner segment held dominant position in the global whole slide imaging market in 2020, accounting for 42.9% share in terms of value, increasing approval and launch of new products is expected to propel growth of the segment during the forecast period.
With regulatory approval in the United States for the use of whole slide imaging for clinical & non-clinical purposes, the adoption of whole slide imaging tools or devices is also increasing with a rapid pace. Moreover, with the increasing integration or adoption of digital pathology platforms, the popularity and acceptance of digital consultation is also increasing. Whole slide imaging is also gaining importance, as several biotech and pharma companies worldwide are using i whole slide imaging in early research and late-stage drug development, and this trend is expected to continue over the forecast period.
Major players operating in the global whole slide imaging market include Visiopharm, Philips Healthcare, Olympus Corporation, Nikon Corporation, Leica Biosystems GmbH, 3Dhistech, Inspirata, Indica Labs, Hamamatsu Photonics KK, Definiens AG Mikroscan Technologies Inc., and Ventana Medical Systems Inc., among others.
In April 2021, Leica Biosystems and Paige.AI, Inc. partnered for Paige’s AI-enabled research software for tumor detection, grading, and quantification to Leica Biosystems digital pathology platform in countries throughout North America and Europe.
In December 2019, 3DHISTECH introduced a hardware upgrade to PANNORAMIC MIDI II, its best-selling slide for digital pathology. The new features include enhanced image qualities for fluorescence slides and the Status LED indicator to facilitate user-friendly operations.