Microsoft and Paige: Revolutionizing Cancer Diagnosis with AI

NNicholas September 7, 2023 4:52 PM

Microsoft and digital pathology provider Paige are collaborating to create the world's largest image-based AI model for cancer detection. This revolutionary technology, training on an unprecedented amount of data, will aid doctors in diagnosing both common and rare cancers, addressing staffing shortages and growing caseloads.

Developing a groundbreaking AI for cancer detection

A groundbreaking collaboration between Microsoft and Paige is set to revolutionize cancer diagnosis with the development of the world's largest image-based AI model. This advanced technology is being trained on billions of images, an unprecedented scale of data in the healthcare sector. The aim is to create a tool capable of identifying both common and rare forms of cancer, some of which are notoriously difficult to diagnose. This could provide invaluable support to doctors who are struggling with staffing shortages and increasing caseloads.

Paige, a provider of digital and AI-powered solutions, is striving to modernize the workflow of pathologists, the doctors who play a crucial role in diagnosing diseases by analyzing bodily fluids and tissues. Despite the critical nature of their work, pathologists' workflow has largely remained unchanged over the last 150 years. Paige is seeking to digitize this process to improve both accuracy and efficiency in diagnosis. The company has also received FDA approval for its viewing tool, FullFocus, which allows pathologists to examine scanned digital slides on a screen, replacing the traditional microscope.

While digital pathology holds great promise for improving diagnostic accuracy and efficiency, it also carries significant cost barriers. Digitizing a single slide can require over a gigabyte of storage, resulting in substantial infrastructure and data collection costs. These expenses can be prohibitive for smaller health systems, making digital pathology largely the domain of wealthy academic centers. Paige, which spun out of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, has managed to build its own AI-powered solutions thanks to its wealth of data.

Paige and Microsoft's partnership for expansive cancer detection

In a bid to extend its operations and create an AI tool capable of diagnosing a larger variety of cancers, Paige has joined forces with tech giant Microsoft. Over the past year and a half, Paige has leveraged Microsoft's cloud storage and supercomputing infrastructure to develop a new, advanced AI model. This model, which trains on 4 million slides, is the largest computer vision model ever publicized. Its creation is seen as a significant milestone in cancer care, with potential future applications in predictive modeling.

Augmenting pathologists' work with AI, not replacing them

While the AI model being developed is incredibly powerful, it's not designed to replace pathologists. Instead, it's seen as a tool that can enhance the work of pathologists, similar to how a stethoscope or an X-ray machine aids in disease diagnosis. As Desney Tan, vice president and managing director of Microsoft Health Futures, put it, 'AI is a tool that is to be wielded by a human'. The technology is meant to help pathologists work through cases and arrive at a diagnosis more quickly, potentially reducing the waiting time for patients.

More articles

Also read

Here are some interesting articles on other sites from our network.