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Cleveland Clinic Will Boost Digital Pathology with AI

In the latest sign of the growing trend towards digital pathology, the Cleveland Clinic and artificial intelligence vendor PathAI will work together to improve clinical diagnostics.

As part of the new five-year agreement, hundreds of thousands of anonymized pathology specimens will get digitized, which will create millions of whole slide images across multiple disease areas. PathAI will gain access to the digital pathology images to develop and improve its AI-powered algorithms and conduct research. Cleveland Clinic’s medical team will ensure algorithms are appropriate in clinical and research settings.

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted increased interest in digital pathology because such work can be done from any location that has computer access, as opposed to glass slides which must be read in front of a microscope. That digital arrangement works well with telehealth and also provides stopgap measures in regions where there is shortage of pathologists. The Dark Report previously noted that there were 600 open pathologist positions in the U.S. in August 2021.

Digital pathology slides also open the door for AI analytics of tissue specimens. “Though not yet employed for primary diagnoses, thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, many digital pathology platforms are moving closer to daily clinical use and new collaborations with pathologists who utilize the technology to confirm cancer and other chronic diseases,” Dark Daily previously reported.

The topic of AI use in pathology laboratories will be explored more during the Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare and Diagnostics Conference, which takes place May 10-11 in San Jose.

‘Maxmimize the Value of Machine Learning for Our Patients’

Cleveland Clinic leaders see the partnership with PathAI as another avenue to innovation.

Cleveland Clinic_002-150x150“Our commitment is to provide the best possible care for our patients, and it is increasingly clear that AI-powered pathology can radically enhance diagnostic accuracy and treatment selection,” Brian Rubin, MD, PhD, Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, said in a news release. “By doing this work, were able to maximize the value of machine learning for our patients and fuel deeper innovation that can result in better outcomes.”  

The hope is the collaboration between the medical center and PathAI will ultimately improve the clinical care provided to patients while simultaneously enhancing the underlying technology.

“We see an incredible opportunity to accelerate innovation in precision pathology and to use our strengths to bridge communities in the healthcare ecosystem, including patients, biopharma, and academic research,” said Andy Beck, MD, PhD, CEO of PathAI in Boston.

PathAI also just inked a deal with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to use digital pathology technologies to accelerate research and drug development in oncology and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

Other Digital Pathology Developments Involve the FDA

The Cleveland Clinic partnership comes at a time when other advances in AI-based pathology technology is occurring, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance obtained by Inspirata in March for its digital pathology software.

Marketed as the first FDA-cleared digital pathology software with multiple scanners, Inspirata’s technology not only uses AI algorithms to assist in cases, but also to automate workflows. The recent FDA clearance allows Inspirata’s AI technology to be used by clinical laboratories with a variety of scanners.

"This will pave the way for more clinical adoption of digital pathology and AI tools for clinical applications, as well as teaching, education, and research,” Anil Parwani, MBA, MD, PhD, said in a news release. Parwani is the Vice Chair of Anatomic Pathology at the Ohio State Universitys Wexner Medical Center and a customer of Inspirata, which is based in Tampa.

Healthcare leaders should take notice that digital pathology and related AI applications are maturing to the point where their clinical use is becoming more commonplace.

—Caleb Williams

Related Resources:

Record 600 Pathologist Jobs Open Nationwide

New AI-based Digital Pathology Platform Scheduled to Roll Out across Europe Promises Faster Time to Diagnosis, Increased Accuracy, while Improving Pathologists’ Work Lives

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare and Diagnostics Conference

PathAI and Cleveland Clinic Announce Collaboration to Build Digital Pathology Infrastructure and Evolve Use of AI-Powered Pathology Algorithms in Research and Clinical Care

PathAI and GlaxoSmithKline Sign Multi-Year Agreement to Accelerate Research and Drug Development

Inspirata Receives Industrys First FDA Clearance for Scanner Agnostic Digital Pathology Software