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The role of informatics in patient-centered care and personalized medicine.

ABSTRACT

The practice of cytopathology has dramatically changed due to advances in genomics and information technology. Cytology laboratories have accordingly become increasingly dependent on pathology informatics support to meet the emerging demands of precision medicine. Pathology informatics deals with information technology in the laboratory, and the impact of this technology on workflow processes and staff who interact with these tools. This article covers the critical role that laboratory information systems, electronic medical records, and digital imaging plays in patient-centered personalized medicine. The value of integrated diagnostic reports, clinical decision support, and the use of whole-slide imaging to better evaluate cytology samples destined for molecular testing is discussed. Image analysis that offers more precise and quantitative measurements in cytology is addressed, as well as the role of bioinformatics tools to cope with Big Data from next-generation sequencing. This article also highlights the barriers to the widespread adoption of these disruptive technologies due to regulatory obstacles, limited commercial solutions, poor interoperability, and lack of standardization. Cancer Cytopathol 2017;125(6 suppl):494-501. © 2017 American Cancer Society.