Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Journal Club: CAP TODAY (July 2023): Present Pressures vs Futurism - Dig Path, AI, and NGS Issues

CAP TODAY has excellent, open-access articles, and recently they've been making great using of the "expert roundtable" format.  For July 2023, they have an essay that's great reading but a little cryptically named - "Lab leaders on moving markets and tipping points."  Notably, the article covers Digital Pathology, and AI, and NGS.

Find the article here:


For those who'd like a preview to decide whether to invest in reading it, an AI summary follows.



This article was published in CAP TODAY in July 2023, and discusses key issues surrounding digital pathology, artificial intelligence (AI), and the challenges faced by clinical laboratories in the current healthcare landscape. The conversation involves insights from lab leaders of the Compass Group, an organization of not-for-profit IDN system laboratory leaders.

Digital Pathology Adoption:

Lab leaders from the Cleveland Clinic and Scripps Health share their experiences with digital pathology adoption. While it is being used for subspecialty case review conferences and international consultations, broader implementation is limited by technical staffing constraints and communication challenges in busy clinical environments.

AI in Pathology:

The conversation delves into the hype and reality of AI in pathology. Dr. Henricks expresses skepticism about the speed of AI adoption, emphasizing the importance of data quality and the need for regulatory guidance due to the continuous learning nature of AI algorithms.

Impact of AI on Pathologist Workforce:

Lab leaders discuss the potential impact of AI on the pathology workforce. While AI might improve efficiency in some aspects, it also raises concerns about the need for adequate pathologists for clinical care. There are expectations of a more flexible working environment, with some candidates seeking remote work options.

Financial Pressures on Clinical Laboratories:

The article highlights the financial challenges faced by clinical laboratories. Declining reimbursement rates, competition, and increasing costs for staffing and equipment put labs in a precarious situation, leading to limited margins and stress on resources.

Leadership and Management Development:

Lab leaders emphasize the importance of investing in leadership and management development within laboratories. The lack of competent leadership and management skills, coupled with a shortage of qualified leaders entering the field, poses challenges for labs in the coming years.

Pathology's Role in Healthcare Initiatives:

The article discusses how pathology and the clinical laboratory can be overlooked when grandiose clinical initiatives are planned. Laboratories need to assert their needs and challenges to ensure they are adequately represented in decision-making.

Overall, the article sheds light on the complex issues faced by clinical laboratories in the digital age, from the adoption of new technologies like digital pathology and AI to financial pressures and the need for skilled leadership. It serves as a valuable read for pathologists and medical school professors to understand the current landscape and prepare for the future of pathology practice.   


The article would be of the highest interest and most importance to read for the following potential readers:

Pathologists: Pathologists, both practicing and in training, would find the article highly relevant as it discusses the current challenges and trends in the field of pathology. The insights on digital pathology, AI, and the impact on the pathology workforce can help them stay informed about advancements and potential changes in their profession.

Laboratory Leaders: Leaders of clinical laboratories, including lab directors and administrators, would benefit from reading the article as it addresses financial pressures, staffing challenges, and the need for effective leadership and management development. The article provides valuable perspectives from peers in the Compass Group, offering insights that can guide decision-making and strategic planning within their organizations.

Healthcare Executives and Administrators: Executives and administrators within healthcare organizations would find the article important to understand the challenges faced by clinical laboratories and the potential impact on patient care and overall healthcare operations. It provides an opportunity for them to appreciate the demands and complexities of laboratory services and recognize the significance of supporting the pathology department adequately.

Medical School Professors in Pathology: Professors teaching pathology in medical schools would benefit from the article's insights to keep their curriculum up-to-date with the latest developments in the field. It helps them inform their students about the challenges and opportunities in pathology practice, including the role of technology and AI in shaping the future of the profession.

Researchers and Innovators: Professionals involved in pathology research and innovation, including those working on AI and digital pathology projects, would find the article relevant. It provides valuable context on the current state of digital pathology adoption, the challenges of AI implementation, and the potential impact on the pathology workforce, helping them align their work with real-world needs and priorities.

Overall, anyone involved in the field of pathology, from practicing pathologists to healthcare leaders and educators, would find the article of the highest interest and importance as it addresses critical issues and trends shaping the future of pathology practice.

The content is organized in a way that presents various perspectives and insights from lab leaders on relevant topics, such as digital pathology, AI, financial pressures, leadership challenges, and the role of pathology in healthcare initiatives.