by Robert Chen, Resident Physician, New York Presbyterian Hospital
The PathVisions22 conference was a great experience. Having had an interest in digital pathology as a new pathologist and academic researcher, I had limited exposure to the state of the art methodologies being used in the research world, as well as what companies in the space were working on. Since all of the major players in both industry and academia were at the conference, it was easy to meet many individuals working on this domain and learn very quickly about the major themes of digital pathology. My experience at PathVisions22 started at the DPA Presidents Dinner, where I met all of the other travel awardees, most of whom were trainees like myself. I was impressed to see many young physicians and researchers across various stages of training exploring digital pathology. Many of these individuals were from other countries or universities who I previously did not realize had a strong interest in digital pathology. Across the various talks, poster sessions and individual conversations with others, it was very interesting to learn how pathologists in other areas of the world were implementing solutions for digital signout and research projects. Coming from an institution that has not yet implemented digital solutions for signouts, it was very helpful to hear about the pain points with current practice that lend themselves to being addressed with digital pathology solutions. For example, institutions send cases for outside consults all the time; delays in transport of materials could impede decision making, for example when a diagnosis needs to be established before initiation of therapy. Such bottlenecks can potentially be mitigated with adoption of digital solutions that allow for ease of sharing slides across individuals from as far as opposite ends of the world. Another example, is for rare diagnoses, aggregating cases across different institutions can be facilitated by digital pathology solutions for research purposes. My favorite part of the PathVisions experience was having inspiring conversations with the various attendees. There were about 800 total attendees. The scale of the conference was large enough to enable meeting a breadth of individuals spanning different backgrounds, and was small enough that we would still run into each other multiple times throughout the day. Many of the major players in industry and academia had a presence at the conference, and interaction with them was very easy. I was able to meet individuals from various companies to learn about how their solutions worked, and about research projects they were working on with their collaborators. The exhibits were closely located with the poster presentations, and each day there were several dedicated time slots dedicated to poster presentations which made it easy to approach presenters and discuss ideas. I left the conference with new ideas to explore in my own research, as well as many new contacts who I hope to stay in touch with and collaborate with in the future. I am very much looking forward to a great experience at PathVisions23 next year.
Disclaimer: In seeking to foster discourse on a wide array of ideas, the Digital Pathology Association believes that it is important to share a range of prominent industry viewpoints. This article does not necessarily express the viewpoints of the DPA, however we view this as a valuable point with which to facilitate discussion.