IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDXX), a global leader in veterinary diagnostics and software, announced on January 17 that it is launching a new rapid digital cytology service that digitally connects veterinarians (equine and small animal) to the largest global network of more than 100 veterinary clinical pathologists and enables them to receive cytology interpretations within two hours. Powered by a new in-clinic instrument and IDEXX’s proprietary VetConnect PLUS software, the service will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. IDEXX Digital Cytology™ will be available to IDEXX customers in North America by mid-February.
IDEXX has also integrated digital cytology capability into its reference laboratories so that veterinarians who submit cytology cases to IDEXX Reference Laboratories will also get faster turnaround times and broader access to IDEXX’s world-class network of pathologists. Many reference laboratory digital cytology customers now benefit from deeper case collaboration among IDEXX’s wide range of experts and greater ability to ensure cases are directed to the pathologist best suited to provide an interpretation.
Timely and accurate cytology reporting is a critical step for veterinarians toward faster clinical decision-making, rapid case management, and an enhanced client experience. With the accelerated turnaround times, veterinary teams will be more equipped to speed up their healthcare delivery in what can often be high-anxiety situations for pet owners. Veterinary teams will also be able to maximize the likelihood that the attending veterinarian manages a case to its next steps, reducing the number of different touchpoints within a care management team and with a pet owner.
Veterinarians will be able to easily incorporate orders for these cytology reports into the same workflows they use for in-house diagnostics and other IDEXX Reference Laboratories services. Veterinarians using IDEXX Reference Laboratories for digital cytology will also use existing workflows for specimen submission. With the new in-clinic service, veterinarians will be able to scan and submit high-resolution images of slides that they’ve prepared in the practice, and the resulting interpretations will return to the veterinarian through VetConnect PLUS software. Only IDEXX technology allows for the viewing and sharing of pathology reports that include images in the context of a patient’s complete diagnostic workup, accessible from anywhere.
“We frequently see patients with suspect ‘lumps and bumps’ that require cytology testing to check for cancer. This can be stressful to the client as well as our staff. Getting these results within 2 hours from an expert pathologist in VetConnect PLUS has been so valuable, especially in cases where the client would have been be waiting and worrying overnight. It allows us to discuss the results that same day, which helps client continuity if the doctor is out the next day. Providing earlier cytology results eases uncertainty, demonstrates our value, and builds our client-doctor bond,” said Dr. Sonnya Dennis, Owner of Stratham-Newfields Veterinary Hospital in Newfields, New Hampshire, a pilot customer of the new in-house digital cytology service.
Many veterinarians currently perform cytology without the benefit of additional consultation, or they send prepared slides to a reference laboratory and wait several days for results. IDEXX Digital Cytology uses whole-slide imaging technology to easily capture a high‑resolution image of an entire slide whether via the in-clinic instrument or at the reference laboratory. This reduces the risk of missing a critical area of interest by enabling the entire diagnostic yield to be assessed by the pathologist.
“Everyone expects products and services to be delivered at warp speed,” said Jay Mazelsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of IDEXX Laboratories. “IDEXX Digital Cytology is our most recent innovation designed to bring reference laboratory-quality diagnostics to the point of care, speed up veterinary healthcare delivery, and advance the standard of care. As seen with chemistry, hematology, vector-borne disease testing, and beyond, we continue to accelerate the pace of veterinary medicine, while still ensuring veterinary teams, clients, and patients benefit from the same quality of world-class expertise, support, guidance, and connectivity expected from IDEXX.”
Click here for more information on IDEXX Digital Cytology.