Why is digital pathology & artificial intelligence important?
In my opinion, digital pathology lies at the heart of current transformation of healthcare services to a data driven industry. Working from anywhere, anytime and with anyone is now a reality. Being adopted by major health centers, not only does digital pathology leads to a better patient management, it also creates an efficient and seamless workflow for diagnostic pathology services providing access to centralized data, far and wide. In a precision medicine era, the recent adoption of AI and machine learning algorithms to pathological data is destined to increase the accuracy of diagnosis, aid in exploring and setting new diagnostic criteria, and play an imminent role in addressing manpower and expertise shortages, while creating learning opportunities for the younger generation and increase and diversify job roles of a pathologist.
What does the future of Digital Pathology look like to you?
Digital pathology from being touted as the near future is now a reality “in-progress” with many large healthcare setups rapidly adapting to a digitalized workflow. But still, much work needs to be done, and it is not as simple as acquiring a WSI scanner. With the advancement of AI applications into digital slide images, these helper tools will place the Pathologist in an ever-important role in the precision medicine era with discovery of new biomarkers, cancer grading systems and prognostic and diagnostic criteria. Furthermore, harnessing the readily available cloud computing and robust infrastructure being updated every day, digital pathology-based tools have the potential to be integrated with other -omics and this multimodal data have the power to replace or amplify the currently considered “epitome” of care ancillary tests, such as genomics and molecular tests, to a more comprehensive point of care testing system.
How long have you been a member of the DPA and what first attracted to you to the Association?
It is now my second year as a trainee member in the DPA. Coming from a lab with conventional pathological workflows to practicing in a lab with an extensively digitalized workflow and being an active user of multiple Pathology AI applications, I wanted to be a part of a larger digital pathology organization where trainees can represent themselves and be actively involved in the workflow of the organization. A chance meeting at the USCAP booth got me interested in the DPA, especially due to the goals and vision of developing and promoting digital Pathology that the association envisages, with the chance to become an actively involved committee member if it aligns with one’s personality. The DAPA platform where you can be an educator as well as a student, with access to umpteenth number of educational resources in Pathology also got me really interested in the society.
What do you enjoy most about the DPA?
I believe there is a list of things I enjoy about the DPA. I currently serve on the education committee and membership committee of the DPA. Both these roles have helped me to understand leadership from the best mentors and to develop a perspective in this realm. I immensely enjoy the DAPA platform where I can access any surgical pathology case from the comfort of my laptop screen making “learning on-the-go” a possibility, along with many educational webinars offered. Last but not the least, the annual conference “Pathvisions” is the most rewarding experience a digital pathology enthusiast can think of, where you can learn and collaborate with “best-of the best” in the digital pathology field.