The healthcare industry has become increasingly digitized over the past decade, with companies like Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ: CERN) and MedAssets Inc. (NASDAQ: MDAS) bringing an age-old industry up-to-speed with modern technology. But, patient medical records represent only a fraction of the digital revolution and one sector has been slower than others to modernize.
DigiPath Inc. (OTCBB: DIGP) is pioneering one of the last areas of medicine that's being enhanced by digital technology - pathology. According to Companies And Markets, the digital pathology industry is expected to reach $542 million by 2018, driven by the benefits of improved workflow efficiency and the reduction of operational costs over the long-term.
In this article, we'll take a look at the digital pathology market and why DigiPath may be an investment worth considering for investors interested in the space.
What Is Digital Pathology?
Digital pathology is a dynamic, image-based environment that enables the acquisition, management and interpretation of pathology information generated by a digitalized glass slide, according to the Digital Pathology Association. The technology improves patient care with a faster diagnosis time, ensures a more accurate diagnosis, and lowers medical costs.
Despite these benefits, the majority of digital pathology solutions used today is used for training and educational purposes. The simple reason is that glass slides must still be prepared and the additional costs of scanning slides continue to be a cause for concern. In a survey by laboratoryeconomics.com, the number one reason for not adopting digital pathology solutions was affordability. As the cost of digital pathology solutions decrease, the market has begun to realize the full potential of the technology in a hospital environment.
And, the long-term promise of the technology is compelling. Digitizing pathology slides can help not only efficiently store patient records, but also provide actionable intelligence from data mining and enhance diagnostic accuracy using computerized pattern analysis. As a result, investors should see this technology dramatically expand in scope over the coming years.
DigiPath's NextGen Solutions
DigiPath develops and sells affordable, innovative, and reliable digital pathology solutions for second opinion, consultation, tumor board, archiving, and educational purposes for improved workflow, analysis and data mining in support of pathology in academic medical centers, reference laboratories, biopharma organizations, and life science research institutions.
The company's three core solutions include its PathScope™ and PathLive™ hardware, PathCloud™ service, and PathReview™ and PathConsult™ software solutions. According to its latest annual report, the firm has designed these solutions to compete on affordability, innovation, and superior reliability. And given the aforementioned concerns, these areas of focus clearly set it apart from the competition.
Here's a quick primer on the three technologies:
PathScope™ and PathLive™ is a $25,000 to $100,000 digital pathology solution that's configurable for slide capacity, objective, barcode and file format options. With a 14-day innovative validation period option, customers have a "try before you keep" option.
- PathCloud™ is a cloud-based service designed to securely store digital pathology results on the Internet for access for any Internet-connected device. With a global backbone network, 1,000 TB of storage, and 100 MB of bandwidth, the service includes 100% availability with sub-second viewing time guaranteed for superior digital slide viewing experience.
- PathReview™ & PathConsult™ are software solutions that provide a various pathology environments for frozen section surgical support, consultations, secondary opinions, tumor board, multi-disciplinary team reviews, research, and education workflows.
All DigiPath technologies are HIPPA and/or 21CFR11 compliant to meet the highest industry standards. With these technologies in place, customers can use a single provider to physically create digital pathology records, store them on the cloud for anywhere, anytime access, and then store and review the solutions in a comprehensive software and database solution.
Digital pathology is rapidly gaining steam, with the market expected to reach $542 million by 2018. As the only publicly traded pure-play in the space, DigiPath represents a potentially attractive investment opportunity. Capturing just a fraction of the half-billion dollar industry could significantly expand its modest $5.5 million market capitalization.
These rapid growth rates have already been reflected in the company's financial results, with first quarter revenues that rose 92% to $201,836. Meanwhile, cash flows from operations swung from a loss of $(60,443) to a gain of $36,314 for the six-month period ended March 31, 2013, meaning that the business now appears to be generating consistent cash flow.
Investors interested in capitalizing on this growing market with a company that has near-double-digit revenue growth and positive operating cash flows may want to take a closer look at DigiPath Inc. (OTCBB: DIGP) as an addition to their diversified portfolio. For more information, see digipath.biz or visit SECFilings.com to view their most recent regulatory filings.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
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