Monday, February 20, 2017

How AI Is Helping Surgeons Improve Tumor Diagnosis

If there’s ever a time you want to spend less time under the knife, it’s during brain surgery. Artificial intelligence could help doctors diagnose brain tumors more quickly and more accurately, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School and Harvard University. “Our goal is to develop an algorithm that approaches the performance of a neuropathologist at diagnosis during an operation,” said Dr. Daniel Orringer, first author of the study in Nature Biomedical Engineering and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Michigan Medicine. Shorter, Safer Surgery In their experiments on more than 100 brain tissue samples, the researchers used deep learning to detect the presence of a tumor and classify it into one of several broad categories. The algorithm analyzes tissue from a laser imaging technique the researchers developed called stimulated Raman histology, or SRH. Currently, doctors must halt surgery for 30-40 minutes while tissue sent to the lab is processed, frozen and stained. SRH reduces the wait time to three minutes by making it possible for pathologists to diagnose tumors without the tissue leaving the operating room.