Last week I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak at APIII in Pittsburgh with one of my colleagues to speak about our interests and projects at Mayo. The shared session also included a histotechnologist from Massachusetts General on some of their lean processes at hand.
My colleague, Dr. Schuyler Sanderson presented his extensive experience with passive RFID technology for GI biopsies which was well attended and received. A lengthy discussion followed showing a lot of interest in this technology from several institutions with the usual point-counterpoint about RFID versus barcoding.
I understand APIII will make the lectures available shortly at their website and would encourage anyone looking at this technology in their organization to check out his presentation.
Overall, the meeting, true to form allowed a lot of us the opportunity to catch up with colleagues who we may not have crossed paths with in person since last years' APIII. I think I have attended this meeting nearly every year since 1998 and the collective content, information and progress being made in pathology informatics showcased at this meeting continues to mature and propogate.
The CAP Today Focus session included a talk by Dr. Laposata which highlighted some thoughts from a lecture he heard about a year ago discussing a business model to outsource pathology to India. He made the argument that you can get the same quality of care for 40% less from US-born and trained pathologists and presents a threat to pathology. I encourage you to check out this talk as well.
Certainly the case can be made for this but most of us discussing this question the capacity of what can actually be done. Nonetheless, the real threat of course is in clinical pathology TC outsourcing as opposed to anatomic pathology TC and PC. Again, I have argued that the expertise and capacity exists in the US and models for insourcing from developing and third world countries provided their are adequate billpayers provide more opportunities for insourcing pathology services more so than the threat of outsourcing from the US.
Be sure to check out the talks from Breakout session D1 presented by investigators from Bern Switzerland and AFIP on virtopsy and virtual autopsy, respectively. The presentation from Drs. Bollinger and Ross was particularly interesting which covered the virtopsy project at their institution and drilled down into discussion about how one might set up this type of technology.
I doubt most surgical pathologists would miss performing autopsies if this does become mainstream.
Lastly, congratulations to our resident, Dr. Jared Orrock on his e-poster award discussing the use of hyperspectral imaging and digital staining instrumentation that we have been investigating.
More discussion on the proceedings from this meeting to follow in the coming weeks.