Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - AIDPATH (Academia and Industry Collaboration for Digital Pathology)

Advances in digital pathology are generating huge volumes of whole slide and tissue microarray images which are providing new insights into the causes of some of today’s most devastating diseases. They also present tremendous opportunities for developing and evaluating new and more effective treatments that may revolutionize the care of patients.

The challenge is to exploit the new and emerging digital pathology technologies effectively in order to process and model all the data. This requires joint research projects and collaborative programmes between academia and industry. Thus, biomedical scientists will be equipped with broad knowledge and processing tools, whereas engineers will have an understanding of the disease processes and the clinical needs. This will help developing efficient and innovative products to fulfil the needs of digital pathology. AIDPATH will research and develop medical image display technology for digital pathology, novel image analysis solutions for future pathology diagnosis and solutions for biomarker evaluation and quantification.

Thus, four technical work packages (WP) are defined:
• WP1: Optimizing, calibrating and standardizing digital pathology image display.
• WP2: Advances image analysis for whole slide images.
• WP3: Evaluation and quantification of biomarkers.
• WP4: Clinical evaluation of the processing tools.

The AIDPATH project addresses this challenge through a focused research, including research training aiming to knowledge sharing and career development in this emerging multidisciplinary field. The joint research project and collaborative programme between academia and industry is helping developing efficient and innovative products to fulfil the needs of digital pathology. To this end a series of activities including networking, workshops, summer schools and conferences will be done, together with new 11 recruitments.

Thus, several event have already been done to:

- Explain the basis: ‘Hands and Eyes on Digital Pathology I’ : Pathology is the study of diseased tissue. It relies on visual evaluation of tissue – at both macroscopic and microscopic level – in order to identify changes which either represent a specific diagnosis or represent clinically relevant information. Evaluation is undertaken through the use of microscopy by a Pathologist who is trained to recognise specific disease patterns within tissue specimens. For over 100 years, this traditional one pathologist one microscope approach to Pathology has served the medical and scientific communities well but it is now in need of a radical overhaul. The future paradigm of Pathology will be Digital. Instead of microscopy, a pathologist will perform diagnosis through interacting with images on computer screens and performing quantitative analysis.

- Describe the developments: Information Technology in Digital Pathology’: Targeting academic and industry experts working in the field of Digital Pathology, this workshop provided the opportunity to generate and discuss different analysis methods, case study examples and procedures. This allowed the participants to fully understand the Information Technology (IT) techniques and image analysis tools that can be successfully applied to digital pathology. The topics cover different aspects related to The European Federation for Medical Informatics (EFMI) working groups, such as, MIP (Medical Image Processing), IDeS (Information and decision Support in Biomedical and Health Care) and THI (Translational Health Informatics).

- Explore the challenges: ‘New Trends in Digital Pathology’: Anatomic pathology is a medical specialty where digital images systems and advanced image processing techniques play an important role. Digital pathology is a new concept that considers all uses of these techniques for diagnosis, biomedical research and education. The advances in this field and the cooperation between industry and academic achieved during the AIDPATH project was presented in this symposium. Moreover, new trends in digital pathology by using novel techniques such as nanotechnology, fluorescence markers and mass spectrometry imaging was also discussed.

- Train researchers: ‘Stereology and Image Processing Course’: The measurement of size, shape or spatial arrangement of objects in tissue images is still a challenge. Stereology and image processing techniques shed light on this problem. Stereology is the 3D interpretation of 2D cross sections of materials or tissues. As a complement, image processing is the treatment of 2D signals to extract useful information from them. This course showed practical techniques for extracting quantitative information about 3D tissue from measurements taken on 2D planar sections of the tissue. It also showed how to describe properties of the digital images associated with the tissue, such as texture, morphological and geometrical features.

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Life Sciences
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