SRL Diagnostics, Microsoft extend collaboration on AI in Histopathology

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Continuing with its transformative efforts in the field of Artificial Intelligence in Pathology, SRL Diagnostics, has announced the second phase of their AI solution development engagement with a technology and data science grant from Microsoft’s AI for Health program.

While the phase 1 focused on AI models in Cytology and yielded an algorithm for screening of liquid based cytology slides for Cervical Cancer, the second phase will delve into AI models in Histopathology, majorly focusing on Breast, Colorectal and Prostate Cancers. As a part of this engagement, senior Histopathologists from SRL will not only lead and set processes for the AI algorithm development but will also provide research insights required for digitalization of pathology in India.

As per a report by WHO, breast cancer accounts for 2.09 million cases 6,27,000 deaths globally. In India itaccounts for 14% of all cancers in women and is the most common form of cancer.

SRL’s efforts in this cutting edge field of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence will help improve the quality and reach of pathology by bringing together Microsoft’s Azure and AI technology innovations and SRL’s world-class infrastructure and expertise in the study of human cells and tissues.

Commenting on the partnership Anand K., Chief Executive Officer, SRL Diagnostics said, “At SRL, we are committed to pioneering innovation in the field of digital pathology in India. We are delighted to continue to have support from Microsoft’s AI for Health program, in developing solutions and generate both social and business value. The AI platform we will build is expected to create a software environment infused with millions of data points and knowledge gained from SRL’s expert laboratory professionals. Diagnostics is the first step for any disease management and with the current pandemic scenario the nation and the world at large is facing, the role for diagnostics segment has grown manifold and re-focused the importance of embracing change in the rapidly evolving technology scenario for healthcare. With the growing number of cancer patients, as well as of other diseases, there’s a need to quickly and accurately analyze the samples to help doctors arrive at a diagnosis faster.”

Commenting on the partnership, John Kahan, Chief Data Analytics Officer and global lead of AI for Health, Microsoft said, “Data is a cornerstone in finding new and innovative ways to tackle some of the world’s toughest health challenges. The complexity of diseases requires us to use technology to learn more about how to fight them. We hope that our support will yield helpful insights around diseases such as cancer.”

As the largest diagnostic laboratory in the country, SRL Diagnostics has a huge repository of de-identified histopathology slides, which could be of immense value for training an AI algorithm. By increasing efficiency in the initial steps in a biopsy tissue analysis through artificial neural networks, it will be possible for a histopathology laboratory to cut down on inadvertent manual errors and inherent subjectivity, and process more samples in a day with higher level of accuracy.

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