Artificial Intelligence-assisted image analysis has been a hot topic in pathology for years. It is about to get even hotter
Charles River Laboratories has almost 150 pathologists globally. In 2019, they evaluated over 4 million microscopic slides in support of the agrochemical, medical device, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industry. Even small incremental improvements in efficiency or innovation will advance CRL’s pathology impact on our clients tremendously. The newest developments in Digital Pathology, specifically the use of convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for digital image analysis of scanned whole slide images (WSIs), promise to drive these advances in 2020 and beyond.
Charles River Pathology Associates (PAI) has been providing a variety of validated DIA tools that utilize other methods of machine learning for almost a decade. However, with the burgeoning commercial availability of user-friendly CNNs, Charles River scientists and pathologists from all over the globe have assembled to evaluate offerings from several vendors. The working group has already identified more than 15 AI applications that could provide CRL clients more reproducible and quantitative data with shorter cycle times. Partnerships with some of the providers are in place that are fueling this hub of innovation. The developers of these AI platforms are receiving direct feedback from the Charles River working group, resulting in more intuitive interfaces for pathologists and scientists to apply this amazing technology.
AI-assisted image analysis is another important step toward integrating more objective, consistent quantification into the qualitative and descriptive science of pathology. CRL is investing in the infrastructure necessary to support the company’s future in an ever-changing digital landscape. The impact of these efforts has already been observed at PAI, and a global expansion of the positive effects is expected to emerge in 2020 and beyond. We are entering a digital renaissance in Pathology Sciences and CRL will be leading the way!
Veterinary Pathologist Aleksandra Zuraw, Specialty Pathology Manager Michael Staup, and Senior Veterinary Pathologist Daniel Rudmann are part of Charles River Laboratories.