A couple of weeks have passed and enough time has passed to digest what I thought about the CAP Companion Society I was fortunate enough to speak at the recent USCAP meeting. Unfortunately, this was the only part of the meeting I was able to attend this year. For a more complete review of the exhibits and exhibit floor check out Ole Eichorn's The Daily Scan and Amanda Lowe's DPC Blog. Both have excellent summaries of the vendors, their booths and recent updates to product offerings.
The CAP Companion Society Meeting this year was dedicated to whole slide imaging. I think this says a lot for the College and the field in general. Timely topics are usually chosen for this companion meeting and topics are generally those that are suggested by the membership in terms of current issues that may be of interest to the general practicing pathologist.
The session is generally well attended by CAP members and as most of the companion meetings take place over the weekend and there are quite a few, attendees have a wide range of meetings to attend. This particularly society meeting generally does well but this year the number seemed larger than most.
I was able to view the speaker presentations on the USCAP website without log in.
As you will see from the presentations the topics covered regulatory issues, educational applications, clinical applications, lessons learned from the speakers, business models and challenges to overcome.
Paul Valenstein's talk on the issue of validation presented the real challenges that face the FDA to tackle the problem. Be sure to check out his talk if this is of interest to you for a thorough review of the regulatory issues.
Liron Pantanowitz reviewed educational applications in part using Pathology 2.0 and other application models.
Andrew Evans and myself covered clinical applications with Andrew reviewing now multiple years and thousands of cases reviewed with telepathology with multiple platforms and expansion of their practice model into remote areas of Ontario. Still one of the best examples of a successful telemedicine program with many deliverables, efficiencies and continued successes that anyone should review if you are setting up any telepathology program.
As for my talk, it was largely a review of my recent CAP meeting session on telepathology and whole slide imaging. Fortunately, I don't think there was much redundancy among the attendees and my bad jokes were just as ineffective. TIme for some new material, new slides and new jokes.
The session concluded with John Pfeifer and David Wilbur discussing their experiences in large, sub-specialty oriented academic practices. John discussed issues associated with volume scanning in a large organization, the issues with large academic practices and their success with a CoPath interface. David Wilbur discussed their projects with Corista and proposed consultation models for MGH.
At the end of the session there was a short panel Q&A and it was quickly and clearly evident from the questions asked and the follow up points made by the panelists that digital pathology is no longer a matter of "if" but "how".
This is my problem in my lab, my hospital, my group, with my colleagues, I know we need to adopt this technology, but how? Where do I start? And how do I validate? I need to read cases instead of traveling to the cases. But what about resolution? Legal issues? Image storage, bandwidth and documentation of digital rather than glass review.
The answers will come as they have in the past from shared experience and collective lessons learned that facilitate innovation and adoption.