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From Pixels to Precision 004: Benefits of Artificial Intelligence

“While I was skeptical at first about digital pathology, I’m now faster reading and signing out cases digitally than I was when doing manual review. The ability to see all the slides at once on the same screen with seamless integration with the LIS is something I couldn’t do before”
– Shawn Kinsey, MD, Medical Director, PathAI Diagnostics

Artificial intelligence can also help unlock value, often greater value than simply going digital without artificial intelligence. In a recent conversation with the SVP of Laboratory at a large health system in the United States, we learned that the return-on-investment for the laboratory was neutral without the deployment of artificial intelligence despite digitizing hundreds of thousands of slides annually. AI offers a number of benefits to pathologists and workflows.
  • Improve Diagnostic Accuracy: AI algorithms can assist pathologists in identifying subtle patterns, anomalies, and features in medical images that might be challenging for human eyes to detect. This can lead to more accurate and consistent diagnoses, reducing errors and improving patient outcomes.
  • Decrease Turnaround Time: Increase pathologist capacity to read complex cases while reducing time spent on routine cases through automation of time-consuming tasks such as quality control, tumor detection, and biomarker quantification.
  • Save Tissue: AI can help guide pathologist decision making around whether a particular patient may need special staining or sequencing, saving tissue that may have otherwise been used for a negative sequencing result or special stain.
  • Precision Medicine Biomarker Discovery:AI can help analyze vast amounts of patient data to identify specific biomarkers, genetic mutations, and other factors that contribute to individualized treatment plans. In pathology, artificial intelligence can help uncover new biomarkers within a histopathology slide that may correlate to patient response to certain therapies. This can potentially enable more precise and targeted therapies for patients.
  • Increase Competitiveness: Laboratories and hospital systems can leverage the above benefits associated with AI pathology to differentiate themselves by being among the first in their local, regional or national markets to bring the value of AI pathology to pathologists, clinicians and patients.
  • Generate New Revenue Streams: Partner with digital pathology vendors with deep relationships with biopharma to engage in new artificial intelligence enabled sponsored testing programs.
In a recent study, PathAI showed a 25% reduction in average pathologist time spent per case with AI vs without AI when quantifying PD-L1 expression in NSCLC. The time reduction went up to almost 35% time savings when specifically looking at complex cases with <5% PD-L1 expression. Notably these were pathologists with expertise in reading PD-L1 in NSCLC using AISight* without LIS integration. Integrations of the AI and IMS into the LIS (a fully “embedded” approach to AI) will likely yield greater time savings with the elimination of manual entry of scores and commentary into LIS.

It's important to note that while digital pathology offers various financial benefits, there are also upfront costs associated with implementing and maintaining digital systems. These costs include equipment acquisition, software licensing, training, and IT infrastructure. Institutions should carefully evaluate the long-term benefits against the initial investment to determine the overall financial impact of transitioning to digital pathology. The same is true for AI. Having a sound business model and business case for digital transformation is critical. In our next edition of “From Pixels to Precision”, we will dive deeper into how to build this business case.


*AISight and AIM-PD-L1 NSCLC are For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

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