The Digital Pathology Association, founded in March 2009, is giving digital pathology a voice and an annual Pathology Visions conference, which the organization has sponsored for the past two years.
DPA’s executive director Michael F. Ward, CAE, says the impetus for forming the association came from a series of corporate meetings about digital pathology. At the time, the Visions conference, which Aperio had sponsored, was about eight years old. People quickly started recognizing digital pathology as an emerging technology, he says.
“The goal was to create a blend of membership of corporate organizations, such as the Omnyxs and Philips and Aperios of this world, along with pathologists, labs, hospitals, and institutions,” Ward says.
The association’s mission is to facilitate “education and awareness of digital pathology in health care.” Its members are encouraged to share and promote best practices.
The DPA also aims to help the industry address regulatory issues that the FDA needs to resolve. In that regard, the organization will work with the FDA “in some capacity,” Ward says. The DPA also plans to work with the College “to the extent that we can give them data that they can take to the FDA. The FDA doesn’t want to hear from 10 different companies—they want an industry position,” he says.
As for future plans, Ward says the DPA expects to have 150 to 200 individual members by the end of 2011 and six to 10 institutional members. The DPA has a newsletter and website (http://digitalpathologyassociation.org).