Digital Pathology Blog

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Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer

Recent Posts

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 04/11/2017

Who has the most important job at Starbucks?


I’ve spent a lot of time in Starbucks, and over the years, it seems little has really changed with the basic operations. The line to the register is flanked by food options and souvenirs leading to someone who takes your order and your money (The Register). Your order moves to someone standing at the espresso machine (On Bar). Other Starbucks associates are simultaneously working the Drive-Thru customers (On Drive-Thru).

Another associate is grinding beans, ensuring the coffee urns are full, teas are brewed, cups, lids and cup protectors are in place, and coolers are well stocked with sandwiches, croissants and breakfast sandwiches (Customer Support).

So, who has the most important job at Starbucks? The Register? On Bar? On Drive-Thru? Customer Support?

Topics: Healthcare, Pathology, Management

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 02/14/2017

Lessons to Be Learned from Super Bowl LI and More

My grandfather was born on Groundhog Day in 1915. If he had not passed away 10 years ago, he would have been 102 this year. Given what he ate, drank and smoked, it is a miracle he lived as long as he did. When I was about 8 or 9 years he told me to “Never bet against Notre Dame football, Joe Louis or the New York Yankees”. Today he would have to replace the entries on that list with, among others, the New England Patriots.

During this year’s game, how many people went to Netflix or their e-book reader half way through the third quarter? I tweeted that, apparently, the balls were harder to catch when fully inflated and “Go Patriots!”

Topics: Management

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 01/24/2017

Liquid Biopsy: Are We Ready?

Liquid biopsy is defined as, “A test done on a sample of blood to look for cancer cells from a tumor that are circulating in the blood or for pieces of DNA from tumor cells that are in the blood. A liquid biopsy may be used to help find cancer at an early stage. It may also be used to help plan treatment or to find out how well treatment is working or if cancer has come back. Being able to take multiple samples of blood over time may also help doctors understand what kind of molecular changes are taking place in a tumor.”*

Often times the test is regarded as “non-invasive” as it can be performed with simple venipuncture specimens or voided urine samples.

These tests are gaining traction within the industry as a viable alternative to traditional screening methods for cancer. Study results are turning up positive data in favor of the tests, and a recent report by financial services firm Cowen & Co. said annual sales for the tools could surpass $10 billion.

Topics: Pathology

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 01/10/2017

What Does New Leadership in 2017 Mean for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine?


Regardless of your politics or mine, on January 20th a new administration will assume leadership of our country. A few months ago, if you told me I would be hearing “The Cubs won the World Series” and “Donald J. Trump will be our next President,” I would have thought the likelihood of either or both happening would be unlikely. It has been quite seachange of events since November. Although too early to think about the next election process, I am predicting the Cubs to win the World Series in 2017.

Topics: News

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 10/11/2016

What do you do for a living? I am a pathologist but not the kind you are thinking of

During training, I had an attending who actually called the autopsy the "awfultopsy," as in "awfultopsies are not that bad if you only have to do one every other year" – which I think was his personal goal. Sometimes the autopsy pathologist would be out and others would cover if there happened to be a case; so many of my attendings did not have conducting posts as part of their routine practice.

Topics: Pathology

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 09/14/2016

Role of Pathology and Pathologists in 2017

It doesn't even seem like a real number but the year 2017 is close.  High school freshman this year were not born yet on September 11, 2001, which does not seem like that long ago.  15 years have passed since the day when my generation will always recall where they were when they heard/saw what was unfolding – much like my parent’s generation can tell you about Kennedy’s assassination like it was yesterday.

Topics: Pathology

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 06/21/2016

What Do Oncologists Think About Digital Pathology?

 

If the dialogue at ASCO this month was any indication, oncologists, who I tremendously respect, actually know about digital pathology.  In many instances their research and/or clinical facilities already use the technology.  Oncologists were familiar with whole slide scanning, image analysis and analytics, and the ability to have cases reviewed quickly without the need to transport glass slides – having seen it successfully used for tumor boards and education in their own institutions. 

Topics: digital pathology

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 05/24/2016

I Have Lung Cancer

On a recent trip, to present at grand rounds at a well-known midwestern medical school, I noticed a dapper gentleman on my flight.  He was wearing a three-piece suit and carrying an impressive attaché case. He stood out among the many travelers dressed in shorts and flip-flops, and who probably wished they hadn’t when we reached our destination where the weather was not as friendly.

Topics: Pathology

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 01/19/2016

A New Dawn is Upon Us

A Move by the FDA Signals Possible Classification for Patient Safety and Industry Collaboration

On Jan. 14, 2016, the Digital Pathology Association (DPA) issued a press release suggesting “digital pathology manufacturers currently interested in marketing whole slide imaging (WSI) devices for primary diagnosis in the United States submit de novo applications to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”

What exactly does this mean?

The press release goes on to say, “The FDA had previously stated it considered WSI for primary diagnosis to be a Class III medical device. However, FDA had never formally

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 12/08/2015

The Rule of 70s – Does it Still Apply?

There is a decades-old theorem first derived at the Mayo Clinic that although based on little actual data has been popularized over the years stating:

  • 70% of patients in a hospital have laboratory data.
  • 70% of clinical data points (objective information) come from laboratory data.
  • 70% of clinical healthcare decisions result from laboratory tests.
  • These data account for less than 5-10% of healthcare costs.

This is a lot of bang for the buck. Imagine 70% of objective information assisting in 70% of healthcare decisions for as little as 5% of total healthcare expenditures.

Topics: Pathology