Session 1021S: Digital Pathology: Current State, Next Steps, Future Visions


Digital pathology has brought the practice of pathology into the family of digital medical imaging specialties and created a foundation for digital workflows, novel business practices, and the emergence of new technologies such as artificial intelligence. Case studies of laboratories converting to a completely digital pathology workflow have supported the feasibility and benefits of having pathologists use digital pathology systems in daily practice. Those using digital pathology have demonstrated that it improves workflow, quality assurance, patient safety, education, and telepathology. However, these same labs have also identified important limitations in current implementations and challenges that still must be addressed. While only a handful of laboratories in the world have implemented large-scale digital pathology systems to date, the last few years have witnessed many more laboratories newly adopting digital pathology for limited use cases. Many other labs are in the process of planning larger implementations or even conversions to 100% digital workflows. This session assembles notable early adopters of digital pathology and innovators architecting the next generation of clinical applications. In this session, we will present a brief introduction to digital pathology that provides a snapshot of the current state of the technology and its use in clinical practice. This overview will focus on recent developments during the last few years, including improvements in technology, developments in interoperability, and changes in the regulatory environment that occurred in response to the COVID19 pandemic. With the widespread availability of whole-slide scanners and reduced cost storage capabilities, digital pathology is getting increased attention. It can enable pathologists to provide and receive second opinions more easily, facilitate remote diagnosis, and empower pathologists with computer-assisted access image analysis/machine learning tools for higher efficiency and accuracy. After introducing the current status of digital pathology, its opportunities, and challenges, we will describe where digital pathology is going in the immediate future, including a discussion of recent research into the application of artificial intelligence to digital pathology. Specifically, we will focus on artificial intelligence as the technical basis of “augmented intelligence” in pathology practice. Augmented intelligence is the term preferred by the American Medical Association (AMA) to conceptualize the application of artificial intelligence to the practice of medicine. Gartner defines augmented intelligence as “a design pattern for a human-centered partnership model of people and artificial intelligence (AI) working together to enhance cognitive performance, including learning, decision making, and new experiences.” It emphasizes the assistive role of artificial intelligence in augmenting human intelligence rather than replacing it. We will also discuss other areas of active development, including ongoing efforts to align digital pathology with medical imaging standards and the enterprise imaging community. Finally, we will consider the long-term outlook for digital pathology and augmented intelligence and how it will fundamentally transform pathology practice as these technologies integrate into clinical practice.

Session Objectives:

  1. Define the current state of digital pathology and its foundational role in artificial intelligence/augmented intelligence
  2. Identify common use cases for digital pathology in clinical practice and research
  3. Explain the regulatory environment for digital pathology and how it is unique in digital imaging
  4. List ongoing challenges to widespread adoption of digital pathology
  5. Recognize the future role of digital pathology in augmented intelligence and enterprise imaging

Jun 9, 2022 3:45 AM — 4:45 AM
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
6000 W Osceola Pkwy, Kissimmee, FL 34746
Toby C. Cornish
Toby C. Cornish
Professor of Pathology and Biomedical Informatics

Clinical informaticist, gastrointestinal pathologist, and researcher.