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Overall value:
88 pts
This article review provides a basic overview of the features that are available with the download of this application. I will discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of the app as well as their clinical practically of this application.

Scores

Cost-in-use
Only available on the iOS platform and costs $49.99 for a download. This may be costly but considering the cost of textbooks and the limited number of pictures in print, this app may be worth the cost.
85 pts
App Interface Usability
This application is simple to use and has a search bar built in to find pathologies quickly and effectively.
90 pts
Multimedia Usage
This app has over 400 slides of specimens and is constantly being updated. The highlighting tool also helps identify structures and help with the study process.
85 pts
Real World Usability
This one is a tough one to list because I am not a pathologist and would not use this in my rotations. As a pathologist, I believe it would be beneficial because of the number of images and how much cheaper it is than the traditional textbooks that a pathologist usually has scattered around their office.
90 pts

Overview

Clearpath, a product released by Dermpath Lab of Central States, is an application that changes the way Histopathology is done.  This application provides an array of continually changing images to help a pathologist review new presentations of histological images.  

 

Each image is part of the interactive image atlas embedded in the app and can be manipulated to highlight key diagnostic findings.  

 

A user will also be able to add subjective notes to help distinguish key pathological features and make reviewing the new material more efficient.  User also has the ability to generate tests that will be able to test their knowledge and see how effective their study habits are.  

Features

Clearpath is a solid product that targets pathologists and provides an advantage over the traditional textbook;  the images in this application are constantly updated so a user will see a myriad of images to have a deeper ability to identify pathologies.  

There are over 400 slides of common histological presentations of pathologies a user can select through in order to expand their understanding of the material. This application is available for download on only the iOS platform but is very useful if you have an iPad.  A user is able to scroll through images at a 40x objective size so a user can review even microscopic details within the cell.  

In conjunction with high-resolution images, a user will also be able to review essential terms that must be memorized for any pathologist. Cell membranes, epithelial, and even nuclei can be highlighted in order to differentiate typical from atypical cellular structures.  This will make it very clear when training your eye to differentiate between normal tissue and structures that must be further examined for pathological consideration.  

 

 

After downloading, you must input basic background information and then open a large selection of slides.  These slides correspond to clinical cases that are commonly encountered in the pathological department.  This is a good resource because if a pathologist sees multiple cases of non-small cell lung cancers on a weekly basis, (a common disease  with nearly 200,000 new cases per year in the United States), they better be masters of identifying cancerous from noncancerous cells.  

Another nice feature is the fact that a user is able to generate quizzes based on the images in order to check their knowledge. After completing rotations in the pathological department, I know first-hand how important reviewing slides is in order to become a good pathologist.  My attending would review at least 100 slides a day to distinguish pathologies and always had a reserved selection of normal histology in order to discern between ambiguous histology. At times, she would have to place the normal control next to the specimen and observe them for at least 5 minutes straight just trying to find differences.

 

Having a strong clinical eye is essential in this field in medicine because this is a deciding factor in management of patients.  When I completed my own courses in Pathology, I found that that was the only effective way to learn the material.  

 

Learning the physiology and mechanisms of the pathology only gets you so far in mastering Pathology but the most important thing to do is to memorize what is normal and what is not on slides. Luckily enough, a simple recipe to do this is to just review, review, and review.   

Oftentimes, slides are never clear pathologies and categories such as “atypical squamous cells of underdetermined significance” are created in order describe such confusing pathologies. Outside of Pathology, having a print-out explaining that kind of histological report is one of the most frustrating things to receive in the hospital ward.

It is hard to manage patients when you don’t have a clear path of what you are trying to manage but unfortunately, this is the nature of medicine. There is very little in the “black” and “white” zones in medicine, and most is in the “gray.”  Around the hospital wards, this is also true but luckily for most physicians, we are able to question patients and run a number of different tests in order to “rule out” pathologies to limit the number of possibilities we are considering.  

In Pathology, your one option is to microtome more biopsies and use your best judgement to see if 1 of the 15 slides you ran had signs of pathological more favorable for one diagnosis over another. Considering the significance of what that histological report means for the management of the patient, a pathologist must do everything in their power to make sure that they are as skilled as possible to determine what they see.  Reviewing slide after slide will aide a pathologist in determining slight variances in histology to make as accurate a diagnosis as possible.  

 

Verdict:

For
  • Over 400 slides of material for a pathologist to practice with in order to expand their understanding of information .
  • Helps train a pathologist to notice fine details that can make a difference on the final diagnosis .
  • Highlighted histological structures to make sure there is no ambiguity in what is being presented .
  • Tests for reviewing the material is a good way to practice material and make sure you are studying effectively.
  • Following case studies make the material high-yield for a pathologist .
Against
  • Only available on the iOS platform .
  • Only practical for pathologists or medical students studying pathology .
  • Requires WiFI connection so may be limited usage in some hospital wards
  • Costs $49.99 in the App Store.

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