What’s So Bad or Wrong With Being Disruptive?

Advance for Laboratory Professionals, in their September magazine issue, published an article titled “Digital Pathology Roundtable” where vendors could respond to questions about the current state of digital pathology.  One of the questions was,

Digital pathology is described as a ‘disruptive’ technology. What is your company doing to mitigate the disruption?

Most respondents talked about how they try to manage the “change” factor, and some even stated that they do not believe digital pathology is disruptive.  BUT what’s so bad or wrong with being disruptive?  Why are we trying to downplay or dance around the disruption?  Shouldn’t we as an industry be proud of the fact that digital pathology is disruptive?

I read an article this morning titled “5 Reasons Why It’s More Fun Being a Disruptor” and one of my favorite points is that when you disrupt you have the power to enable great change and make a positive difference.  Isn’t that EXACTLY what we are trying to do- create change for the better of pathology?

Here are few of my favorite reasons and how they relate to digital pathology:

You will change the world! (Even if it’s only in small ways… at first.)

Digital Pathology was created by innovators who thought outside the box and did not follow the trends of the industry. The author of this article Jean Aw says…”If you don’t  follow trends, you could end up creating a whole new industry, business model or lifestyle. Many people will think you’re nuts… until they can’t remember how life was before your idea. There’s room for radical ideas in every field.” Digital Pathology still needs more radical ideas.  These ideas will help our industry get to a time where we will not remember how life was before.  Well, I’ll always remember how it was “before” so that I can proudly say to all the naysayers… I told you so!!

You can’t go wrong…

This is an important aspect for those fearful of the change or who continue to wait to adopt digital pathology in their lab.  Jean Aw continues to say, “People who assume the way things are now is the best way are wrong. Life is constantly evolving, and being a disruptor means you’re the source of some of that evolution. So by being a part of the change, you can’t be wrong since there is no “right” way doing things yet. Even when you fail or go off course, it will just be a step on your journey toward making a big change that will better things.”

You will help people.

Be a leader not a follower and use Digital Pathology to serve a need that isn’t being served.  If you do this you will make a difference and help others.

I recently wrote,

Change is hard, but if we overestimate the importance of pathology’s capabilities today, we will underestimate the significance of what the field could become tomorrow.

So let’s be proud of the fact that we are disruptors! Let’s look change in the eye and recognize that this disruption will pave the road to a better future for laboratory medicine and pathology.

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