What can Cleveland Clinic, PathAI learn from 1.5M pathology slides?

Pathology lives inside of a glass, but Cleveland Clinic is looking to change that as its new research collaboration aims to use AI to digitize pathology specimens and data, VentureBeat reported May 2.

On March 10, Cleveland Clinic partnered with pathology AI company PathAI to create a five-year research collaboration. 

The collaboration aims to help Cleveland Clinic breakout of the traditional microscope and glass slides process of pathology and head toward a digital world. 

Three things to know about the collaboration:

  1. PathAI's deep convolutional neural networks tools will be applied at Cleveland Clinic to scan 1.5 million slides over the next five years. The tools, which consist of millions of layered, densely interconnected processing nodes, use parameters, in the tens of millions, to identify patterns in images and video.

  2. Cleveland Clinic will purchase new scanners and add new specialists to its team of 100 sub-specialized pathologists.

  3. The biggest hurdle facing the project is money. Scanners that can create digital slides cost up to $500,000 range on top of software and people costs.

Brian Rubin, MD, PhD, chair of the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Institute at Cleveland Clinic, said the goal of the collaboration is to use AI to quickly identify disease and match patients to the best therapies unique to their conditions.

"In a research setting, it can predict things that you could not predict at all by eye," Dr. Rubin said. "At the end of the day, deep learning-powered pathology can really broadly impact research as well as clinical care."

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