In parts one and two, we covered the multiple uses of Twitter by the #PathTwitter community including live tweeting at conferences, the numerous sub-communities on Twitter like @DermpathJC and the international, multi-institutional #EBUSTwitter study conducted entirely through Twitter. As #pathtwitter discovers even more novel uses of Twitter to connect with one another, incorporating images from a digital slide scanner would change the landscape of image sharing on Twitter.
The current standard is positioning your cell phone or camera over the microscope lens and snapping a picture. Digital slide scanners offer so much opportunity for taking Twitter photos quicker and with more image clarity. With digital slide scanners, you can show the entire slide, the full tissue, not just what you can capture in a single camera shot. Using the current standard, you may not have time to get the magnification just right and it may take you more than a few snaps to get just the right picture to share. Not with a digital slide scanner. You get Twitter-worthy photos with each scan. And with the remote nature of digital slide scanners, you can go into the cloud at home (or anywhere), make your annotations (or artsy additions for #pathart) and post to Twitter. Did we just hear someone say #PathTweetAward?
In addition to Twitter, sharing case images at conferences like USCAP sparks insightful discussions. Imagine being at a conference and being able to show cases from the cloud--all cases, not just the ones you consciously chose to take pictures of while at your microscope. And it doesn’t stop there. Not only can you show more than a single region of interest from a case, you could actually record yourself or even share live how you move around an entire slide set to evaluate an interesting case. A presentation may remind you of a case you are currently working on or worked on in the past that proved especially difficult. You don’t have to worry if the image is on your phone (the one you dropped in the toilet last year). You can easily pull up the case to show colleagues to get their expertise. You can show the annotations you made, particular points of interest, or mystery, and get or give a second opinion.
The act of acquiring and sharing pathology images dates back to the time of the founding fathers of our specialty. Pathology and photography remain inextricably linked, interwoven into the cultural fabric of pathology education and practice. Images are at the very heart of anatomic pathology; capturing and sharing those images are important aspects of a pathologist's daily work. As prevalent and crucial as image sharing is to pathologists, doesn’t it make sense to choose an image capturing and sharing option that offers ease, image clarity and robust storage?
Do you remember the first tweet you ever sent? Maybe you were uncertain or curious what results your tweet would bring. And as it turns out, you contributed to the influential, growing community of #PathTwitter. So goes the same for digital slide scanners. There may be uncertainty if a digital slide scanner is the right choice. Until its benefits are experienced, that uncertainty will remain. Digital pathology is on its way to being inextricably linked to leading pathologists, who will seamlessly be able to post images from digital pathology platforms (HIPAA-compliant, of course) to the evergrowing #PathTwitter-sphere. Just as social media is so prevalent amongst the population, digital pathology is taking a similar hold in pathologists' lives. What’s more, the link between social media and digital pathology is evolving to make this connection even stronger!
Built on the vision of better patient outcomes, Instapath was founded in 2017 by engineers and scientists to enable patients to immediately know their cancer diagnosis. Our team made it our mission to develop fast and easy digital pathology technology so diagnosis can be made in minutes instead of days. To learn more about Instapath and our technology, visit https://instapathbio.com or contact us at email@example.com.
Gardner JM, Allen TC. Keep calm and tweet on: legal and ethical considerations for pathologists using social media. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2019;143:75–80.