|Word from the President|
|by Norman Zerbe, President of ESDIP|
|Dear Colleagues and Friends,|
It is my pleasure to inform you about the latest developments in our society. First and foremost, I am very happy that we had an outstanding ECDP2022 in Berlin, with the largest number of attendees and hosting the biggest digital pathology exhibition not only in Europe but worldwide.
Besides the outstanding scientific program, we had the first in-person Annual General Meeting in 3 years, which was very well attended. In addition to the updates from all Board members regarding their achievements of the society in the last year, the society’s bylaws were modified to reflect the improvements within ESDIP since its creation. Moreover, the new Board of ESDIP was elected, which will now be in charge for the coming two years. Please see the section “Active Structure” at the end of this newsletter for detailed information. I am looking forward to the contributions of two new Board members and would like to introduce Yuri Tolkach (University of Cologne) as ESDIP’s new Vice-President, as well as Vincenzo L’Imperio (University of Milano-Bicocca) as the new chair of the Scientific Committee. In this context and on behalf of the entire Board, I would also like to thank Filippo Fraggetta for his tireless work in the last 2 years in his role as chair of the Scientific Committee. Last but not least, we also announced the location of the upcoming ECDP2023 and are already looking forward to meeting together again in person next summer in Sicily, Italy.
ESDIP has grown significantly since its foundation and became the backbone of the digital and computational pathology activities in Europe and beyond. Thus, in the next months we want to focus on the following topics:Establish new working groups and further grow the societyStrengthen and extend partnerships with our Allied Societies and Industry PartnersAdapt ESDIP’s administrative structure to face the heavy growth to remain a fully functional and sustainable societyEstablish a forum regarding Digital Pathology with the national pathology societies in EuropeDisseminate knowledge in Europe and beyondOrganize ECDP 2023 & 2024For all of these activities, we also invite all of you members to contribute actively with your expertise and ideas. Even more, I would like to encourage everyone committed to digital and integrative pathology or those of you who like to get involved to join ESDIP and participate in this exciting endeavor together with us.
President of ESDIP
by Rasmus Kiehl, Editor
Dear members and friends of ESDIP,
We are excited to bring you the summer 2022 edition of the ESDIP Newsletter. These are the contents:
Word from the President
Letter from new Chair of the Scientific Committee, Vincenzo L’Imperio
Messsage from 3DHISTECH, our diamond sponsor
Recap of third Town Square Meeting
Social Media Report
Reports from the ESDIP Committees
Join an ESDIP Committee today
Message from allied society: DPA
Message from allied society: ESP
Message from allied society: JSDP
ESDIP Active Structure
We welcome your comments, suggestions, and contributions.
Have a wonderful summer.
ESDIP Editor and member of Communication Committee
Letter from new Chair of the Scientific Committee
by Vincenzo L’Imperio, Chair of Scientific Committee
Dear ESDIP members and friends,
It is an honor for me to be involved in the Board of the ESDIP as the Chair of the Scientific Committee. I was already a member of the Scientific Committee, actively working with the previous Chair (Filippo Fraggetta) side by side with pathologists and computer scientists from all over Europe. Collaborating in the “Best Practice Recommendations for the implementation of a fully digital workflow” (link) and in organizing the third ESDIP workshop in November 2021 has been a great opportunity to discuss with internationally recognised experts in digital, molecular and computational pathology the challenges and opportunities of digital pathology.
The ECDP2022 congress in Berlin has been THE occasion to discuss some of the principal topics related to digital pathology, raising the awareness on the major points that will need further attention by the Society and, of course, by our Committee. Some of the most striking examples are represented by the harmonization of standards/approaches in DP, the integration of the rising amount of molecular data available, explainable/responsible (sustainable) AI, but also strategies to facilitate the adoption of DP in pathology departments. For sure, active involvement of patients, as well as building international task forces with the Allied Societies will allow us to achieve great results, even expanding the topics of our discussion.
Part of these topics will be further discussed in the upcoming Workshop, and all of you, members, are invited to join and actively participate in the ESDIP initiatives, including the ones by the Scientific Committee. This will hopefully help all of us in improving our daily approach to the different challenges and opportunities of digital, computational and integrative pathology and, using the words of the former Chair, will hopefully help us to “Start being scientists instead of Alchemists.”
Vincenzo L’Imperio, MD
Pathology Department, San Gerardo Hospital
University of Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB)
Chair of the Scientific Committee
European Society of Digital and Integrative Pathology (ESDIP)
ECDP 2022 Recap
by Rasmus Kiehl, Editor
We thank Congress President Frederick Klauschen for the excellent scientific preparation of the Congress. His broad experience as a pathologist, researcher, head of department and entrepreneur guaranteed that the many facets of current techniques in digital pathology became part of the program.
Pre-conference workshops, June 15th: There were ten workshops (details: https://www.ecdp2022.org/workshops/), of which five were by commercial partners. They addressed topics such as AI for PD-L1, generalizability of AI in clinical use, and digitizing intraoperative procedures. One workshop demonstrated the experiences of one department with a digital workflow based on a vendor’s platform. Working groups and consortia had five workshops, such as the Interoperability Roundtable organized by ESDIP, IHE PaLM WG and DICOM WG-26.
ECDP2022 by the numbers: Many records were smashed at ECDP2022. It attracted a record number of attendees: 486 total (204 from industry) from 28 countries. We had 36 exhibitors (incl. ESDIP) and 41 sponsors in total. The scientific program had 86 talks (23 from invited speakers, 63 submitted abstracts) and two panel discussions. Four industry symposia complemented the program. 45 posters were on display throughout the congress, and many of the authors were present at the Get-Together on June 16th.
Scientific program, June 16th-18th (https://www.ecdp2022.org/scientific-program/): Day 1 began with a session on structured and standardized reporting. The large number of high-quality abstracts submitted to the category “Machine Learning & AI” resulted in four sessions: two for algorithm development and two for clinical applications. Speakers presented new tools, clinical trials, and practical, real-world experiences. While histologic image analysis with AI gets a lot of attention these days, other fields combining AI and data analysis are also developing dynamically. One is the combination with molecular diagnostics. This session started with a talk by Congress President Frederick Klauschen, and subsequent presenters demonstrated applications to methylation profiles, proteomic data and karyotypic data. In the digital pathology workflow session, contributors from a variety of diagnostic settings presented their experiences with going digital. On June 17th, there were several connected sessions on interoperability and standardization (IHE PaLM, DICOM-WG 26) and one on regulatory and legal aspects (CE-marked IVD, legal framework for AI, xAI). Topics in the validation and quality assurance session included color calibration and various aspects of automation of quality control for WSIs. The data annotation and preprocessing session was about stain normalization, new annotation tools and registration. The symposium on digital pathology for education presented the most widely used education platform in digital pathology, new ways to teach histology with virtual microscopy, and a pilot study for pathology teaching.
ESDIP Awards 2022: As usual, ESDIP awarded outstanding submissions to its annual meeting.
This year, the award for best abstract went to Rita Sarkis (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland; with co-authors Olivier Burri, Claire Royer-Chardon, Sophie Blum, Frederica Schyrr, Mariangela Costanza, Stephane Cherix, Carmen Barcena, Bettina Bisig, Valentina Nardi, Rosella Sarro, Olivier Spertini, Sabine Blum, Martin Weigert, Bart Deplancke, Arne Seitz, Laurence de Leval, and Olaia Naveiras) for the abstract titled: “MarrowQuant 2.0: clinical application of a user-friendly digital hematopathology tool for human bone marrow trephine biopsies.”
The best poster award went to Philippe Weitz (Karolinska Institute, Sweden; with co-authors Balazs Acs, Johan Hartman, and Mattias Rantalainen) for the poster titled: “Prediction of Ki67 scores from H&E stained breast cancer sections using convolutional neural networks.”
Industry Exhibition: ECDP2022 had a record-breaking industry exhibition. The exhibit hall had a floor space of 829 m². There were 36 exhibitors – please see the Sponsors and Exhibitors page for more details.
Social media activity: There was a lot of ECDP2022 buzz on our social media networks, especially on Twitter, where many attendees live-tweeted the Congress, but also on Facebook and LinkedIn. Please see the social media section in this newsletter for a Twitter hashtag analysis for #ECDP2022.
Social Event: A 3h boat trip took place on the evening of Friday, June 17th. It went up the river Spree and through the government district, historic center, past the Museum Island, along the East Side Gallery, up the Treptower Park and back. About 170 guests were on board to enjoy a wonderful relaxing atmosphere after a long, busy day of congress events.
Partner Content: 3DHISTECH
Highlights from the III ESDIP Town Square Meeting
by Rita Carvalho, Secretary
The third TSM took place on March 3rd, 2022, at 5:00 pm CET. It had about 60 attendees via Zoom and was sponsored by Aiforia. The topic was: „Clinically Validated AI Tools“. The event was moderated by Jordi Temprana-Salvador (Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Spain) and Daniel Pinto (University of Lisbon, Portugal). As new AI tools are starting to be approved and are entering the market, we aim to bring the state-of-art and practical experiences to the audience. Presentations were again pre-recorded, and the following discussion was live.
The first presenter was Anil Parwani (Ohio State University, USA). He emphasized that these are exciting times in the field. Healthcare is evolving due to medical information overload. In pathology, automation, molecular tools and digitization are creating new pipelines: a pixel pipeline and a genomic pipeline. Combined with artificial intelligence, they can transform pathology and bring many benefits to patients. Augmented and intelligent pathology will give pathologists more time for patient care. The first approved AI tools are entering the market with a second-read use, as they can pinpoint areas that a time-stressed pathologist might have missed and offer easier identification, quantification and synthesis of information. Dr. Parwani concluded by stressing that pathologists should get involved in all steps of algorithm development and use.
The second speaker was Luca Di Tommaso (Humanitas University, Italy), who focused on prostate cancer to illustrate the change AI algorithms can bring to clinical practice. He drew attention to the exponential growth in the number of cases being diagnosed with AI tools, allowing increasingly detailed characterization. New biomarkers are being introduced at a rapid pace. At the same time, the number of pathologists is decreasing. The resulting performance gap in pathology has the potential to be filled by AI, starting by reducing the time to reach a diagnosis. He shared his experience at Humanitas with the two tools that are certified for second-read use (a quality control step that proved especially useful in general pathology practices). These are Paige.AI (FDA) and IBEX (CE-IVD) – demonstrated by live demos. Dr. Di Tommaso strongly believes that these tools represent the future of pathology, specially in slide triage, quality control and the evaluation of biomarkers.
The interactive QA session began with topics involving the adoption of these tools by developing countries, how the availability of AI tools can speed up digitization and the sensitivity of AI models to image variability. When asked whether pathologists should also become programmers, both speakers thought that pathologists should stay pathologists, but work in groups and collaborate with IT professionals. However, early-career pathologists who want to learn should be encouraged. The guests agreed with the conclusion that standardization and integration are needed for successful application of AI tools. The possibility of digital staining was discussed, such as using unstained slides for “generated” H&E and special stains. However, this is not a substitute for IHC, as biomarkers still need to be assessed on the tissue. For the future of pathology training, it is important to send the message that pathology is an exciting field, directly related to patient care. Pathology is also in the digital transition, which offers not only a solution for overworked pathologists but can also increase the interest of medical students in the field.
Social Media Report
by Luca Cima, Communication Committee
The activity of ESDIP on the social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin) over the past seven months (Dec. 2021 – Jun. 2022) has been remarkable and has mainly focused on advertising ECDP2022. 51 posts were made simultaneously on all three platforms and can be divided in this way: 41 tweets/posts (80%) about ECDP2022; 4 tweets/posts (8%) about events organized by allied societies or corporate partners; 3 tweets/posts (6%) announcing new partnerships / new alliances of ESDIP with scientific societies and companies; 2 tweets/posts (4%) to advertise the 3rd Town Square Meeting; and 1 tweet/post (2%) announcing the previous ESDIP newsletter.
On Twitter, our most-used hashtags were #PathTwitter, #DigitalPathology, #ArtificialIntelligence, #AI, #ComputationalPathology and #ECDP2022. In the reported seven-month period, @ESDIPatho earned a total of 143k impressions (mean engagement rate 3.06%). We achieved a total of 209 retweets and 576 likes. The number of followers rose from 1017 to 1147 (+13%). The month of June saw the highest number of tweets, tweet impressions, profile visits, mentions and new followers:
The hashtag #ECDP2022 was the protagonist of the live-tweeting carried out during the days of the Congress in Berlin with the following statistics (obtained via https://www.symplur.com):
The ESDIP Linkedin account in the reported period had 1514 page views, 635 unique visitors and 92 custom button clicks. The peak of visits to our page occurred between June 15th and 24th (during and after ECDP2022), pulling 313 page views, 121 unique visitors and 14 custom button clicks. A total of 1232 reactions, 29 comments and 95 shares were obtained. The number of followers rose from 753 to 1156 (+54%). The content dedicated to the ECDP2022 sponsors obtained the highest impact:
Our activity on Facebook (Meta) was also in large part dedicated to disseminating information about ECDP2022. In the reported period, the number of followers rose from 292 to 486 (+66%), from these countries: India (+129), Egypt (+36), Portugal (+34), France (+30), United Kingdom (+20), and Italy (+18). Posts with the highest impact were:
ESDIP Social Media Handler and member of the Communication Committee
Reports from the ESDIP Committees
In the last year, the Scientific Committee focused its attention on the steps required for the full implementation of DP in pathology departments, publishing useful recommendations (e.g., Best Practice Recommendations). The most recent ESDIP workshop, held on Nov. 24th, 2021, was the third such event. At the workshop, we discussed the integrative side of pathology, foreshadowing one of the topic areas of ECDP2022.
The third Town Square Meeting was held on March 3rd, 2022. The topic was: „Clinically Validated AI Tools“. Please see the detailed event description earlier in this newsletter by Rita Carvalho. As an ESDIP-endorsed event, DACH Symposium on Digital Pathology took place on Feb. 2nd, sharing experiences from Germany (D), Austria (A), and Switzerland.
The committee worked on the new ESDIP website and on the summer newsletter. A lot of the activity was related to the heavy involvement in the ECDP preparations. A congress communications committee was formed: joining the team were Kah Veitengruber (Charité), Nora Pohlan (Charité) and Tiago Guedes (ESDIP). This committee met almost weekly via Zoom to coordinate activities such as the congress website, social media activity, flyers, posters, mailings, the program book, and more.
Join an ESDIP Committee today!
ESDIP currently has three committees: Scientific, Educational, and Communication. They are doing important work for our society, such as organizing events, contributing to our annual meeting and public relations work. As the activities of the society expand, new members are welcome in these committees. You can contribute with your skills and knowledge in many different ways. So please consider participating. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Scientific Committee: The Committee publishes recommendations and guidelines (e.g., Best Practice Recommendations). It supports networking among ESDIP members to enhance scientific collaboration. It also organizes the regular ESDIP Workshops, such as the upcoming fourth Workshop, which will benefit from fresh ideas and stimulating, challenging topics. Active participation of ESDIP members is essential to achieving these objectives. This will help us shed light on different aspects of digital, integrative, and computational pathology.