There are likely hundreds of thousands of pathology images available online for every organ system and thousands of diseases. Some of the earliest examples of this include Pathweb from the University of Connecticut, Webpath from the University of Utah and the Case of the Month for both anatomic and clinical pathology from the Department of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh. Tens of thousands more have been added on sites I have mentioned previously such as MyPACS.net, PathologyPics and Medting. Still more have been uploaded to sites such as Flickr, including a Pathology and Lab Medicine page.
I have contributed thousands of images to several of these sites but how does one confirm the diagnoses are accurate for images online? I have disagreed with some examples and others have disagreed with my own interpretations. I welcome it – I think it is part of the Pathology 2.0 experience.
PathXchange allows for an online pathology community in much the same way these sites do with the addition of support of whole slide images. In addition, a Case Editorial Board (CEB) covering over 20 pathology subspecialties has been created to vet image quality and diagnostic accuracy. Beyond the university sites mentioned above I think this is one of the first examples of a peer-review process for online images. The PathXchange CEB will be responsible for reviewing individual case submissions, selecting a “Case of the Week” to spotlight on the Web site and promoting the portal in their respective communities.
The first meeting was held at CAP last week and among other topics we discussed hosting case conferences and webinars to educate users on a variety of topics. Users will be able to directly connect with members of the CEB for queries and consultations, assistance on challenging cases, and remote second opinions from around the world.
Comprised of well known experts from respected institutions across the country, including Johns Hopkins University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, University of California Los Angeles and Stanford University among others, the goal of the PathXchange CEB will be to engage the pathology community and its use of digital pathology as an image sharing application.
“I am privileged to be a CEB member,” said Professor John E. Tomaszewski M.D., vice chair of anatomic pathology and interim chair of pathology and laboratory medicine at University of Pennsylvania, “Through this forum we can collaborate, educate and serve fellow pathologists globally towards ultimately offering better patient care.”
Since its inception in March of this year, PathXchange has grown to include more than 2,500 individual members from 1,000 institutions from more than 50 countries around the world. In tandem with the expertise of the new CEB, pathologists everywhere can leverage whole slide image technologies as a spring board for a variety of pathology applications, including case collaboration, sharing, discussions, education, virtual tumor boards and research.
For more information contact PathXchange at firstname.lastname@example.org.