Alexapath and Northwell Health presented this poster at the 2016 United States and Canada Anatomical Pathologists Society. The poster reflects data collected and research conducted during the first pre-clinical validation study conducted with Dr. Michael Esposito and Dr. Tawfiqul Bhuiya of the Department of Pathology at Northwell Health.
The 59 scanned cases included 31 benign and 28 malignant cases. The concordance rate between digital and glass slide diagnoses was 95% (56/59) for both reviewers. 2 discordant cases with major clinical implication were misdiagnosed by both reviewers; one was from a breast biopsy with DCIS and focal microinvasion. The microinvasion was missed on mWSI. After review, microinvasion was confirmed on mWSI. The second case was from a thyroid resection where follicular variant of papillary carcinoma was misdiagnosed as follicular adenoma on mWSI.
This study indicates that mWSI offers excellent diagnostic accuracy. It is an affordable system that can be used as an
adequate tool for telepathology. It will help to expedite the diagnostic process in low resource environments and provide patients with better health outcomes..
Alexapath has received funding in the sum of approximately $200,000 from the United States and India Science and Technology Endowment Fund. The governments of the United States of America (through the Department of State) and India (through the Department of Science & Technology) have established the United States–India Science & Technology Endowment Fund (USISTEF) for the promotion of joint activities that would lead to innovation and entrepreneurship through the application of science and technology. The aim of the Fund is to support and foster joint applied R&D to generate public good through the commercialization of technology developed through sustained partnerships between U.S. and Indian researchers and entrepreneurs. The U.S.-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund activities are implemented and administered through the bi-national Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF).
The award winning project is a collaboration between Alexapath and Aindra technologies entitled “Modular diagnosis of cervical cancer utilizing smartphone diagnostics and artificial intelligence.”
India has more than a third of the global incidences of Cervical Cancers (~140,000) as well as mortalities (~74,000). This number indicates that one woman dies every 7 minutes in India due to a disease that is completely curable, if only detected early.
The proposal aims to build a modular device for the diagnosis of cervical cancer which will be an affordable and portable, ‘point-of-care’ Cervical Cancer Screening tool, to automate the analysis of the PaP smear slides. The slides are stained, scanned, digitized and then analysed using computer algorithms to triage them into normal, suspect and abnormal samples. The images are then sent over a Tele-pathology medium to pathologists for further confirmations and recommendations.
When Lou Auguste discovered that hundreds of thousands of women die of cervical cancer in the developing world each year, the film producer-turned-tech-entrepreneur was distressed. Even more distressing was the fact that many of those deaths were preventable: when diagnosed early, cervical cancer has over a 90% cure rate.
Auguste, who is of Haitian descent, set out to ameliorate the situation in Haiti and other countries where a lack of equipment and shortages of trained pathologists were contributing to that dismal death rate. The solution, he realized, was telepathology — the use of telecommunications technology to transmit image-rich pathology data from the field to medical personnel working remotely.
Setbacks in starting a technology company should only make you stronger, say entrepreneurs
For every technology start-up that makes it big, another nine fail — and it can happen at startling, hugely stressful speed. “We are always on the brink of making it big or losing everything,” Sean Percival, an American entrepreneur and former MySpace executive, wrote on his blog in February, having just learnt that the co-founder of Ecomom, a young company that sold eco-friendly products for children, had committed suicide of an apparent blip of his business.
Throughout history, light has been a symbol of knowledge. Technology and innovation are dependent upon our ability to see. As we improved our optical systems our ability to know the world around us improved. Magnifying glasses gave way to eyeglasses, telescopes, microscopes and cameras. The telescope improved our ability to navigate the seas and the microscope improved our ability to see the tiny world around us and inside of us. The history of the modern world stands on the shoulders of giants whose work with optics led to remarkable advancements in other fields. The great philosopher Baruch Spinoza was a famous lens grinder, Michael Faraday as a young man worked in a lens making factory, and Isaac Newton’s early experiments in optics began a body of work that left us with Calculus.
Manufacturing today has become very advanced, and we’ve largely mastered the craft of making excellent lenses. Today’s optics are advanced by software and new form factors that are reducing the cost of expensive optical equipment. High resolution digital cameras are a part of our everyday lives. People take high quality photographs and videos with their smartphones. Cinema continues to push the boundaries of high quality digital cinematography.
The Open Mobile Telepathology System (OMT) is a combination of two components, the Pocket Electronic Health Record (pEHR) and the Mobile Whole Slide Imaging (mWSI) app. This system was created over the course of this study to help reduce the cost of telepathology in developing countries. The affordable system as described will help to expedite the diagnostic process in low-resource environments and provide more patients with better health outcomes. The OMT system offers a number of advantages to the standard Whole Slide Imaging machines. It can be deployed at a fraction of the cost, the images are more easily transportable at an average image size of less than 500 MBs and any worker, even someone without any knowledge of pathology, can perform the scans; also, components can be replaced and upgraded at a minimal cost, offering a large advantage to low resource and rural environments. The OMT system utilises a standard light microscope with a custom built 3D adaptor and the iPhone 5s. Acquired mWSIs can be transported through the cloud using the pEHR database and accessed through web and mobile platforms. Therefore it can be used in any part of the world with an Internet connection. The study follows the step-by-step process used to acquire mWSIs of various stains including H&E stains, and thin preps. The results of the tests have been found to be of a diagnostic quality and the imaging process as described has been optimised and standardised over the course of the 2-year study.
There’s some cool stuff getting made at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. Lots of it was built with some sort of social mission as well, but across the board we saw a wide array of technical creativity on display at the school Friday, at its 2015 Research Expo, which featured creations from both undergrads and graduate students.
NYU had projects sorted by discipline, such as computer science, games, civil engineering and mechanical and aerospace engineering. We tried to hit at least one project in each group (sorry, math).
100 years ago, cervical cancer reigned as the leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States
Then, a doctor at Cornell University began conducting studies on the sex cycle of guinea pigs and in 1915 realized that a similar “smear” technique could be applied to the study of human vaginal cells. A few decades of disinterest and skepticism later, the Pap smear became the standard cancer screening test for women. Today, the cervical cancer death rate has plunged by more than 50 percent and ranks 14th in frequency in the United States.
BitTorrent, an open-source protocol for peer-to-peer file sharing that is used to distribute large amounts of data over the Internet, was created to replace HTTP, which was originally implemented to move text and small images. However, the size of data sets moving across the Internet greatly exceeded what was imaginable with HTTP, which was introduced in the early 1990s. So, the BitTorrent protocol was introduced in 2001 to do the heavy lifting more efficiently, harnessing a distributed approach to data transfer. BitTorrent Inc. was established in 2004 to be custodians of the protocol, and to introduce additional protocols and software apps based on distributed technology.