Podcasts | February 22, 2021 |

Digital Transformation in Pathology / Why and how should pathologists keep up with AI?

Digital Transformation in Pathology podcast by Dr Aleksandra Zuraw from Digital Pathology Place – sponsored episode by Visiopharm.

In this episode, Dr Aleksandra Zuraw speaks to David Harrison, a pathology professor at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and a member of Visiopharm’s scientific advisory board, about artificial intelligence and why pathologists should embrace it in their work.

“I think the first thing that AI does is it actually makes things easier. It runs things better. So, it might sound very unambitious, but I think one of the best things AI will do in pathology is actually to help us manage workflow.”

Professor David Harrison

During the 30-minute chat, David explains:

  • how he started working with digital pathology and his current research interests
  • his leadership role at iCAIRD – a centre of excellence focusing on the application of artificial intelligence to digital diagnostics
  • how pathologists should rethink AI and embrace it as a tool in their workflow
  • the advantages of AI
  • the regulation and implementation obstacles that can be overcome
 

Artificial Intelligence is starting to cross from pathology research into pathology clinical practice. With several AI-based algorithms approved for clinical use in Europe and many more in the making, it is clear that rather sooner than later it will be an integral part of practicing pathology.

Does everyone practicing pathology have to keep up with this new trend? Those who wish not to and are close to retirement probably not, but everyone else probably yes. AI will become one of the pathologist’s everyday tools and the use of this tool should be taught throughout the entire process of medical formation from medical student through to practicing pathologists through continuous professional education. AI is not scary, but it is a new technology we need to adopt, similar to how immunohistochemistry (IHC) was adopted.

IHC entered the pathology practice only in the 1980s and today most practicing pathologists are using this method as an integral part of their diagnostic workflow. It was brand new not so long ago and the pathologist community had to figure out this new method and leverage it to better serve patients. An analogous situation is happening now with AI.

Unlike some may fear, the primary benefit of AI is not necessarily to make the diagnosis and replace pathologists. The first thing that AI does is help pathologists manage workflow. It may sound unambitious but triaging cases that are safe/ normal, and allowing the pathologist to focus on cases that are more urgent or more high risk already benefits the profession tremendously and improves patient care.

Pathologists should keep up with AI both to leverage its power to help pathology as well as leverage the collective pathology knowledge in different aspects of the discipline for the development of reliable AI tools designed to help pathologists.

Runtime: 31 minutes.

Other podcasts in the series:

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