Digital Pathology Blog

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Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer

Recent Posts

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 Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 05/05/2020

Pandemic Presents Opportunity to Advance Telepathology and Digital Pathology

Telepathology, the ability to view remote pathology images, and more specifically, the technology to allow this to happen, has been available for more than 50 years. 

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 03/31/2020

The Time for Telepathology is Now

In the past several weeks we have all seen or been directly impacted by a worldwide pandemic.

Nearly 1/3 of the world’s population is currently on “lockdown”, “shelter in place”, “stay at home” or other similar orders from local, state and national authorities in respective parts of the world. My parents told me about when the city swimming pools had to be closed over concern of poliomyelitis, but few of us have experienced anything like this before. Epidemiologists and sociologists will have plenty to study for the next decade and break down.

Topics: Telepathology

Posted by Keith Kaplan, MD, Chief Medical Officer 01/14/2020

What does 2020 and beyond mean for pathology?

Yogi Berra, the Hall of Fame New York Yankees catcher has famously said “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future”.

The Jetsons had us believing that by 2020 we would have instant food, video phones and flying cars. Two out of three isn’t bad. So far. Some innovative folks are working on drone-like vehicles that can sustain human flight. Let’s see what happens this year with that.

Ten years ago, digital pathology was leaving infancy and becoming a toddler, learning to walk and run and read and write and communicate. The notion that slide images could be viewed from anywhere, anytime, was still a novel idea, not so much from a technological perspective, but rather from a professional one.

Topics: Digital Pathology

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