Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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J Pathol Inform 2017,  8:22

Review of “Travels on conferences: Evolution of digital pathology” by Klaus Kayser

Diagnostic Services Manitoba; Department of Pathology, University of Manitoba, Manitoba, Canada

Date of Submission16-Jan-2017
Date of Acceptance22-Jan-2017
Date of Web Publication15-May-2017

Correspondence Address:
Gabor Fischer
Brodie Center, 727 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P5
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpi.jpi_6_17

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How to cite this article:
Fischer G. Review of “Travels on conferences: Evolution of digital pathology” by Klaus Kayser. J Pathol Inform 2017;8:22

How to cite this URL:
Fischer G. Review of “Travels on conferences: Evolution of digital pathology” by Klaus Kayser. J Pathol Inform [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Jun 29];8:22. Available from:

This short book is written by one of the European pioneers of digital pathology, Klaus Kayser. He gives an overview of the evolution of digital pathology through the milestones of the European conferences on the topic recurring in every 2 years.

It is worth taking a moment to think about what digital pathology has become since the first European Congress of Telepathology hosted in Heidelberg, Germany in 1992. This cozy and personal conference was Klaus Kayser's personal initiative. There was no industrial support or presence, and the conference had a budget of 3000 German Marks (about 1900 USD at that time). This relatively small and short gathering of visionary pathologists had grown into the large 12th European Congress of Digital Pathology hosted by Paris in 2014 through multiple interim stages. The last conference discussed in the book had multiple oral sessions devoted to future and contemporary issues, image quality, and data mining along with a forum for young pathologists and researchers, a poster session, an industrial symposium, and a scanner contest. Those colleagues who had a chance to attend the 13th European Digital Conference in Berlin last year would agree with me that this trend will continue in the foreseeable future.

Discussions about establishing the European Committee of Telepathology started shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Those times were followed by a rich, exciting, and sometimes tragic period of European history including the German reunification, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the establishment and expansion of the European Union and the Eurozone, and the Yugoslav Wars, just to mention a few landmarks. The same period was just as eventful and historical in the evolution of digital pathology. The consecutive chapters document how the early frustrations of unstable connections, fixed communication endpoints, insufficient bandwidth, low data transfer speed, and restricted image size were overcome by the researchers and users. Moreover, during the same period, the success reports on intraoperative telepathology applications at the first conferences have been increasingly accompanied by inspiring presentations on improving technical and quality assurance aspects, open access and algorithms, consultation services, computer-assisted interpretations, three-dimensional reconstruction of images, promising educational and volunteer projects, smartphone applications, and constructive international collaborations.

The structure of the book is determined by the series of conferences. The chapters devoted to each conference are preceded by a brief introduction and overview of their beginnings and followed by a look into the future through the author's perspectives and conclusions. Essentially, the book is a nice summary on how digital pathology has been living up to its potential.

Klaus Keyser is one of the last few really well-rounded modern renaissance men. In addition to his great achievements as a pathologist, he has also distinguished himself by writing poems, essays, fiction, and composing music. This combination of scientific and artistic skills defines his writing style. The book is not a textbook or a systematic analysis; it is an eclectic narrative with personal insights. Detailed descriptions of the proceedings of the conferences are mixed with anecdotes, quotes, dialogs, and references to European history by a well-read and philosophical author.

The book is an easy read and takes us through an amazing journey. Klaus Keyser finishes his work with a refrain of his own hiking song as a message to the followers and the pathology community: “Yes, we will remain to venture further into new exciting worlds!” And I have no doubt he will be proven right again.




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