For pathologists, there are many benefits to implementing new technologies; digital pathology – and the use of artificial intelligence it enables – simplifies the management of lab workflows, creates efficiencies in the diagnostic process, allows pathologists to work more flexibly, and enhances diagnostic precision. Yet the most important benefit, as is the aim of all medicine, is the potential to improve patient care.
Clinical-grade AI pathology applications can not only make turnaround times faster, reducing anxieties for patients and allowing them to start care journeys quicker, but can effectively aid in the identification and grading of cancers to support pathologists’ decision making. This can support the entirety of the care team in making informed and effective treatment decisions, ultimately leading to a more positive patient experience.
Such efficiency and confidence gains have proven to be especially valuable in prostate cancer. As the second most common cancer in men and the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world, prostate cancer presents a unique set of challenges for pathologists not only in terms of its scale but in its complexity, and this is made all the more challenging by the shortage of specialist pathologists available globally. AI can directly improve many of these challenges. For example, a recent study conducted at IPATIMUP, a leading cancer center in Porto, Portugal, found that Paige Prostate Detect, an AI for prostate cancer detection, offered pathologists:
- Twenty-two percent (22%) shorter reading times
- Twenty-one percent (21%) reduction in IHC requests
- Thirty-nine percent (39%) reduction in second opinion requests
The hope is that when this same technology is applied to a clinical setting, patients would benefit from the shortened timeframes and enhanced pathologist confidence. In fact, it was with these exact goals in mind that Dr. Catarina Eloy, Head of Pathology Lab at IPATIMUP, decided to introduce this technology to her lab. She believes “to undergo the digital transformation is to hear the need and the tendencies of our time. Only a digital laboratory can accomplish the quality levels that our patients expect and deserve.”
Further, she added “AI is the computational pathology tool that allows an increment in turn-around time mainly due to the upfront mapping of lesions and decrease in the requests for immunohistochemistry and second opinion. It represents a healthy support of pathology and can help us reach better quality in our diagnosis, introduce reproducible quantification, and increase trust in Pathology and in Pathologists.”
Moreover, while the benefits of AI available today are not to be understated, Dr. Eloy is even more optimistic about how such technology can redefine the future of pathology. She shared, “AI is challenging the understanding of diseases and the way we classify them, something that will have an impact on the way we manage our patients. Patients will prefer digital labs as well as labs with AI since this is where augmented pathologists may extract the most reliable information out of their samples.”
At Paige, this is central to our mission. Our technology was designed not only to address the challenges that pathologists face, but to equip labs with tools that aid in their diagnosis to effectively help patients. As more and more labs begin to adopt AI, better patient care will be a reality.
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 Prostate cancer – statistics. Cancer.Net. https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/statistics. Published April 14, 2022.
 Based on an independent study of Paige Prostate Detect conducted by IPATIMUP, 2022.