Digital Pathology

ContextVision is developing new innovative decision support products for digital pathology, and a research project, SL-DESUTO, was started in 2015 to accomplish this.
Already a world leader in image enhancement, ContextVision is now taking its medical analysis know-how into a new field. The near future will see the launch of our first Digital Pathology product, based on the latest breakthroughs in AI and deep learning.

Introducing our Digital Pathology portfolio

The ongoing transition to digital pathology has opened up for new ways of managing and interpreting visual information. ContextVision’s new, upcoming portfolio of Decision Support Tools is designed to help pathologists in diagnostic decisions based on analyses of digitalized H&E-stained image slides.

The portfolio will have an initial focus on the various cancer forms that represent most of the pathologist’s daily workload. Here, deep learning is used to quickly identify relevant image slides and provide automatic calculations and evaluations of tumor stages. In addition to speeding up workflow and eliminating unnecessary analyses, the technology reduces observer variation by delivering objective results. 

Groundbreaking technology

The complex patterns in histopathology tissue samples make them challenging to evaluate with classic AI algorithms. However, new machine learning technology has proved to be very powerful for pattern recognition – handling tasks that are very challenging even for the human brain.

Our Decision Support Tools are built on deep learning algorithms, which in turn draw on the latest advances in Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). These visual analysis tools – widely used in facial recognition and image categorization technologies – are exceptionally powerful in their ability to identify patterns of interest in images, with a hierarchical information representation similar to the human visual system.

The extremely sophisticated algorithms have been developed in collaboration with deep learning experts and pathology specialists. Based on a patent-filed, highly accurate method for auto-annotation of cancer tissue, they provide relevant and objective outcomes, helping pathologists conclude the diagnosis for each individual patient.

Supporting the pathologist

Today’s pathologists are faced with an ever-increasing number of pathology samples. The actual process of image slide analysis is repetitive and time-consuming; for example a great deal of time and effort is spent on scrutinizing images that in the end turn out to be benign. Other tasks are very tedious – checking lymph nodes for metastases, or estimating the amount of cancer in the sample.

Combined with an all-too-common shortage of qualified pathologists, this risks creating bottlenecks in the treatment process, not to mention stressful working environments.

By speeding up the diagnostic workflow and taking over tedious routine tasks, our Digital Pathology portfolio will allow pathologists to realize their full potential as skilled specialists, helping them make the most of their valuable time. Our upcoming Decision Support Tools will provide relevant, objective information for faster, easier diagnoses, complete with quantified H&E data for smooth delivery to oncologists. The pathologist can easily check and confirm results, maintaining full control throughout the analysis and evaluation process.

The experience behind our products

Our Digital Pathology team includes many highly experienced specialists from a broad range of fields: experts in immunology and biology, highly skilled project managers, QA/regulatory experts, software engineers, experts on deep learning and AI as well as marketers with a solid business focus. In addition, we have impressive external networks of pathologists, research labs, industry collaborators and other partners. 

The development of our Digital Pathology portfolio builds on the findings of SL-DESUTO, a Eurostars-sponsored research collaboration between ContextVision and the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland. Here, the SL-DESUTO advisory board plays a key role, providing us with unique and invaluable insights and feedback. The board features some of the most prominent names in the field:

Anil Parwani
Professor of Pathology at
The Ohio State University, USA
Dan Ciresan
CEO, Conndera Research,
Romania
Jeroen van der Laak
Associate Professor at Radboud UMC,
Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Junya Fukuoka
MD.PhD. Chair, Professor,
Dept. of Pathology,
Nagasaki University, Japan
Fredrik Pontén
MD, PhD, Dept. of Immunology,
Genetics & Pathology,
Uppsala University, Sweden

I am impressed by the company’s vision and their amazing efforts within AI and machine learning for radiology. I believe that these strengths can help solve some of the current clinical issues that we encounter in pathology today.
Professor Anil Parwani
Ohio State University

User-friendly tools and high-quality data

As part of the development process, we have created easy-to-use, interactive web-based viewers and annotation tools, as well as platforms for image processing.

Data and data quality are essential prerequisites for developing highly accurate deep learning networks on which our auto-annotation tool is based. By processing high amounts of digitalized tissue samples, the algorithm is trained to deliver accurate, objective annotations with the utmost precision. 

A major source of data comes from ContextVision’s collaboration with ALAB in Poland, one of Poland’s largest providers of pathology services. Thanks to a number of research collaborations with academia and pathology departments throughout the world, additional data sources are available, opening up powerful opportunities for future product development. 

Top placements in challenges

ContextVision – a trusted name in diagnostics software

An industry pioneer for 30 years, ContextVision is a world leader in medical image enhancement. We have always been ahead of the game, investing heavily in research and development. Our products are known for their cutting-edge technology, high precision and reliability in helping doctors to accurately interpret medical images – a crucial foundation for better diagnosis and treatment.

Quality products for clinical use

Our team has extensive experience in developing finished products for clinical use. We pride ourselves in seeking deep understanding and insight into clinicians’ everyday workflow, as well as their varying needs and preferences. Additionally, we have an established dialogue with major hardware and software manufacturers, and hold an ISO 13485:2012 certification.

News and upcoming events

Publications

Oscar Jimenez del Toro, Manfredo Atzori, Sebastian Otálora, Mats Andersson, Kristian Eurén, Martin Hedlund, Peter Rönnquist and Henning Müller

Convolutional neural networks for an automatic classification of prostate tissue slides with high-grade Gleason score

SPIE Medical Imaging, pages 101400O-101400O-9, 2017
Oscar Jimenez del Toro, Sebastian Otálora, Mats Andersson, Kristian Eurén, Martin Hedlund, Mikael Rousson, Henning Müller and Manfredo Atzori

Elsevier book on Texture Analysis, chapter Analysis of Histopathology Images

From Traditional Machine Learning to Deep Learning, 2017
Oscar Jimenez del Toro, Sebastian Otálora, Manfredo Atzori and Henning Müller

Deep Multimodal Case-Based Retrieval for Large Histopathology Dataset

MICCAI 2017 workshop on Patch-based image analysis, Quebec City, Canada, 2017
(The paper will be published in Springer LNCS)

Digital Pathology

Lena Kajland Wilén

Director Business Unit Digital Pathology


Kristian Eurén

Product Manager Digital Pathology


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