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INESC TEC supports innovation solution to enhance accuracy in the diagnosis of colorectal and cervical cancers

A tool based on artificial intelligence will allow considerable advances in the way the anatomopathological diagnosis of histological samples is currently carried out. The INESC TEC’s Centre for Telecommunications and Multimedia (CTM) participates in the CADPath.AI project as a technological partner since June 2020, and the project will last for two years.

12th August 2020

In 2022, the diagnostic process is expected to be 100% digital, due to the introduction of algorithms that aim to complement the work of anatomopathologists in anomalies’ identification.

In the medical specialty of Pathological Anatomy, oncological disease and its diagnosis are, increasingly, a main concern. Knowing that a timely and accurate diagnosis is an essential tool to fight cancer, anatomopathologists will have an important tool based on artificial intelligence. The technology is being developed by the CADPath.AI – Computer Aided Diagnosis in Pathology project consortium.

Artificial Intelligence supports microscopic observations

The high complexity characterising oncological diagnosis often requires a second opinion. It is at this stage that technology becomes a vital ally of doctors. In recent years, we have witnessed the proliferation of scanners for digitalising histological slides, a new instrument at the service of the so-called digital pathology.

In addition to making it possible to carry out a network diagnosis, helped by other technological tools, digital pathology will allow reducing the time that the pathologist spends on microscopic observation. “Tasks such as, for example, the identification of tumour cells, the counting of mitotic cells, or the identification of invasive growth, as well as their measurement, can now be performed through the use of artificial intelligence”, explained Jaime Cardoso, CTM’s coordinator.

With the possibility of scanning the histological slides, there was a great scientific interest in the image analysis algorithms’ development, which can complement and make the role of pathologists more efficient, particularly in the diagnosis of colorectal and cervical cancers.

“We remain focused on the continuous improvement of the diagnosis, but we intend to go further and provide the market with an automatic diagnosis tool for oncological pathologies; a database, including the scanned slides and respective notes, clinical history and diagnosis; and a platform for generating scientific knowledge, ”said Ana Monteiro, project manager at IMP Diagnostics.

CADPath.AI, an IMP Diagnostics project in a technological partnership with INESC TEC and Leica Biosystems, has a financing of around 70% through the COMPETE2020 programme, with a total investment of 1M€.

The INESC TEC researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with UP-FEUP.