Digital Pathology Blog

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Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer

Recent Posts

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 05/07/2019

Digital Pathology — It's All About Quality

Quality is Job 1

This of course was Ford Motor Company’s marketing slogan in the early 1980s. The message was clear – in the wake of some issues, Ford was going to build in quality to its automobiles rather than make it a checkbox at the end of the process. Over the years, Ford prospered while its major domestic competitors, General Motors and Chrysler, struggled to compete with Ford as well as foreign automakers.

Topics: Pathology

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 03/05/2019

The Tumor Board: The Impact of Going Digital

I have been attending tumor boards on a weekly basis in some capacity or another for over 20 years, since starting my pathology residency. Prior to then, I observed as a medical student on a regular basis. Even if I was on a rotation, like family practice or pediatrics or OB/Gyn, if I had the time, I would try to attend one of the many tumor boards on the hospital campus. I kept the schedule in my PalmPilot Personal Digital Assistant at that time.

Topics: Tumor Boards

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 01/22/2019

Pathology Societies Need to Follow Radiology’s Lead

Digital imaging, when most of us consider it in medicine, is primarily used in radiology. Radiology has taken the lead on digital imaging for decades.

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 10/16/2018

The Evolution of Reporting: Are Pathologists Becoming Data Managers?

25+ years ago, as a resident, the hard(er) part was looking at the slides and the easy part was writing the report. Before breast conserving therapies, when mastectomies were standard of care, for example, a report might read: “Breast, right, mastectomy: Invasive mammary carcinoma, grade 3, measuring 3.4 cm; deep margin and nipple negative for tumor.” With the header, all the necessary elements in the report, the logo, gross description and disclaimers you could get this onto 1 page. And have space left over. With large fonts (the initial MUMPS based laboratory information systems did not give you the option of 500+ font styles and types with bold, italics, etc…)

Topics: Slide Management

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 02/27/2018

Will Misters Bezos, Buffett and Dimon Fix Healthcare?

Late last month, the CEOs of Amazon, Buffett and JPMorgan Chase announced they were teaming up to form an independent healthcare company for their employees.

The details were scant and vague but mentioned the new corporation would be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints”. Mr. Buffett is quoted as saying, “The ballooning costs of health care act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy… Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable.”

Probably not the best analogy considering tapeworms are easily treated with oral generic medications that are very low cost.

Topics: Healthcare, Studies/Reports, News

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 01/23/2018

Automation in Pathology Will be Enabled by Artificial Intelligence

There is a lot of talk currently about artificial intelligence. AI- in short, is the ability for computing systems to be programmed to perform tasks AND to learn from those tasks to refine their abilities the next time a problem or question or decision is faced by the system tasked to perform the operation.

Topics: Pathology, Artificial Intelligence

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 07/25/2017

Obtaining Meaningful Use with Digital Pathology

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) 2009 introduced the Health Information Technology for Economical and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act with the aim to incentivize “meaningful” implementation and usage of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) throughout the nation. Under HITECH, two incentive programs for Medicare and Medicaid were introduced which allow eligible professionals (EPs) to claim thousands of dollars in incentives over several years, if they could meet the requirements set out for different stages of Meaningful Use.

Topics: Electronic Health Records

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 05/24/2017

Watching time fly by

Tubular adenoma with low grade dysplasia

Growing up as an avid member of the 60’s TV generation, one of my favorite genres included nature shows. In the years long before YouTube, we often arranged our week to be home in time to watch Marlin Perkins’ Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom on Sunday evenings. And of all the spectacular scenery shown, a very specific type of photography captured my imagination – time-lapse video. 

You’ve seen the same amazing footage.  It begins with a barren desert that looks almost choked off from life, with the exclusion of a few scraggly cacti and perhaps a plodding reptile or two.  Next comes the torrential rainstorm, and a vivid rainbow of breathtaking plants seem to blossom out of nowhere.  Clearly, the stunning display was hiding in place all along.  With the “magic” of time-lapse photography, we are given the rare opportunity to view the entire picture from start to finish.

Topics: digital pathology

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