Digital Pathology Blog

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Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 09/13/2022

Hunting for a Pathologist

A radiologist, an internist, a surgeon and a pathologist go duck hunting. The radiologist is up first and a flock of ducks fly overhead. He raises his shotgun but does not shoot. The surgeon asked him why he didn’t shoot to which the radiologist replied, “They had the outline of ducks, their contrast looked like ducks, but I wasn’t sure they were ducks.” The internist is up next. When the next flock flies overhead, he raises his shotgun in the air but does not shoot. The surgeon, getting irate at what is happening, asked the internist why he did not shoot to which the internist replied, “They looked like ducks and quacked like ducks, but I wasn’t sure they were ducks.”

Topics: Digital Pathology, Radiology, HCR, Telepathology, Management

Posted by Robin Weisburger 06/21/2022

Digital Solutions for Training Today's Pathologists

The strains of the last two plus years have forced us to make many changes to our daily routines, both on a personal and a professional level. Remote interactions have become the norm, with families “zooming” for the holidays and family events, elbow bumps instead of hand-shakes, and remote work conferences and meetings in all walks of life. We are all looking forward to the return to many of our previous lifestyles, but the old adage remains true, out of adversity comes opportunity.

Topics: Digital Pathology, Pathology, digital imaging

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 05/10/2022

The Tumor Board, Virtually

There is a joke among surgeons and oncologists -- the pathologist at a tumor board is like the guy whose funeral that you are attending; you can't do it without him, but you don't want him saying too much. 

Nearly 2 years ago, our tumor boards went "virtual". Like billions around the world, we scrambled to get Zoom, GoToMeeting, WebEx and other applications up and running to hear each other’s voices and share screens to show radiology and pathology images. We anticipated that by the Summer or Fall we would be back to "normal".

Topics: Digital Pathology, Healthcare, Studies/Reports, Telemedicine, Pathology

Posted by David C. Wilbur, M.D. 04/05/2022

Proficiency Testing in the Digital Pathology Age

Don’t get me wrong based on the title; I am not advocating for proficiency testing (PT). After Medical Boards, Resident In-Service and Board exams, I never thought I would be thinking about any more testing at all. There are better ways to test for ongoing real proficiency. Exercises that test “real-world” skills, such as focused review of signed out cases or concurrent reviews - with feedback – not only lead to better outcomes (patient safety) but also improve practice (constructive feedback). But testing is an unfortunate part of modern life. It’s a metric, and regulators like metrics. For years we dealt with the specter of impending gynecologic cytology PT. Based on the complexity of the federally mandated glass slide testing format, the organizations capable of producing such a monumental effort appeared to reach a détente with CMS, and no testing took place for many years after the federal regulation went into effect. However, when one organization came up with a program, the seeming détente was at an end, and CAP and ASCP were essentially forced to enter the fray.

Topics: Digital Pathology, Pathology, digital imaging, Slide Management

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 11/02/2021

What Does the Gene Panel Show?

Recently I received a call from an oncologist. After giving me the patient’s name, she asked “What does the gene panel show?”

I responded we didn’t have the patient’s biopsy yet, that he was scheduled to undergo a CT-guided needle core biopsy, and we would process it overnight and review tomorrow as we normally do.

The oncologist acknowledged the patient was undergoing the biopsy in the afternoon, and we hadn’t even yet done an immediate fine needle aspiration rapid on-site assessment prior to the core biopsy.

Topics: Digital Pathology, Healthcare, Pathology

Posted by Robin Weisburger 09/14/2021

Covid: A Catalyst for the Accelerated Adoption & Utilization of Digital Pathology

Digital pathology, in one form or another, has been with us for several decades supporting clinical, research and academic applications world-wide. Early use cases for pathology focused primarily on research and teaching. Today, however, whole slide images are playing a larger role in the clinical realm offering remote support for intra-operative procedures, consultations with subspecialty experts and, most recently, primary diagnosis reporting.

Topics: Digital Pathology

Posted by David C. Wilbur, M.D. 07/13/2021

Machine Learning and Image Manipulation in Digital Pathology: The Case for Efficiency Enhancements

Much of the excitement related to digital pathology comes from the ability to rapidly move cases from one place to another. Remote access from home, speedy consultations, rapid review of archival material, and access to cases for clinical conferences are just a few of the benefits that accrue from moving from glass slide analog to a digital slide environment. All of these workflows can be accomplished with glass slides but require the presence of the physical case material. With digitization the need for the physical case is negated which leads to the obvious advantages that slides need not ever be “pulled” from the files, and multiple individuals can view the same case at the same time – think about slides traveling to conferences or for consultation which then are needed immediately for clinical care or quality assurance activities. Clearly the digital pathology laboratory facilitates these processes and makes them more efficient (and safe).

Topics: Artificial Intelligence

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 11/17/2020

The Paraffin Curtain is Melting

Surgical pathology is increasingly becoming more based in molecular diagnoses rather than morphologic diagnoses. For 150 years, morphology has been an accurate predictor of clinical behavior with standardized criteria for both histological grading and pathologic staging of tumors. While there are certainly “gray areas” in morphology and classification of disease, a traditional approach of classifying tumors based on location, gross pathologic findings and histologic findings combined with immunohistochemistry, over the past 30 years, has served our patients well in terms of classifying tumors for appropriate therapy and management.

Topics: Pathology

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 08/04/2020

Where Do We Go From Here?

My grandfather, who was self-employed, made a living as a glazier and drove a cab in the winter when he couldn’t hang 10-foot panes of glass 100 stories above the city if it was too windy. The jobs required him to be aware of his surroundings constantly, whether high above the city putting glass on a skyscraper or running the one-way streets around the downtown Loop.

Topics: Digital Pathology, Telemedicine

Posted by Corista 07/14/2020

Corista Receives Patent Grant for the Virtual Slide Stage

Corista, an integrated pathology solutions leader, has received from the USPTO a Patent Grant for the Virtual Slide Stage (VSS). The VSS is an interface device that greatly improves the ergonomic efficiency of digital slide viewing for pathologists. Use of the device should  ease the path to greater adoption of digital pathology platforms, via mitigation of what is now a laborious and physically tiring process when using currently available technology.