LD Path teams up with Ibex Medical Analytics to deploy AI-powered solution to support pathologists in enhancing diagnostic accuracy and efficiency
Ibex Medical Analytics, the pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI)-powered cancer diagnostics; and LD Path, a leading provider of digital pathology services to the NHS, has announced the UK’s first rollout of clinical-grade AI applications for cancer detection in pathology.
In recent years, a global increase in cancer cases has coincided with a decline in the number of pathologists around the world.
Traditional pathology involves manual processes that have remained unchanged for years, where slides are analysed by pathologists using microscopes, and reporting is often carried out on pieces of paper.
But the limited availability of pathologists requires couriers to transport glass slides containing tissue samples between different locations to access expert opinions.
This is a significant step in realising the benefits of AI tools within the UK as we continue to redefine traditional workflows across our NHS network
The shortage of pathologists in the UK has also led to delays in cancer diagnosis, which can take up to six weeks, and together with increased demand, is exerting tremendous pressure on pathology departments while raising concerns about diagnostic accuracy.
In addition, such supply and demand issues contribute to critical issues for NHS diagnostics, including breached National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) cancer guidelines and an increased dependency on expensive temporary solutions.
Now, LD Path, which provides state-of-the-art histopathological imaging and reporting services to 24 NHS trusts throughout the UK, will use its position within the NHS to integrate Ibex's Galen Prostate solution into its digital pathology workflow.
With the CE-marked solution from Ibex, prostate biopsies at LD Path will be reviewed by a highly-accurate AI algorithm concomitant with the pathologist’s diagnosis.
And LD Path pathologists will be alerted in the event of significant discrepancy between their diagnosis and the algorithm’s findings, providing a safety net that helps minimise errors in the lab by enhancing quality control.
During an initial use of Galen Prostate at LD Path, the AI-powered solution identified undetected prostate cancer as part of an ongoing audit carried out at the request of an NHS trust.
“We are excited to collaborate with LD Path to bring a paradigm shift for pathology in the UK, and around the world, increasing efficiency and improving accuracy of cancer diagnostics,” said Joseph Mossel, Ibex Medical Analytics’ chief executive and co-founder.
“Cancer cases continue to rise, and with the pathology practice experiencing a worldwide shortage, AI-based technologies can drive new workflows for pathology that will be critical for improving cancer care practices for patients, pathologists, labs and entire healthcare systems.”
Sanj Lallie, director of operations at LD Path, added: “We are proud to be the first UK pathology provider to integrate AI into the digital pathology workflow by partnering with Ibex to improve cancer diagnosis.
Cancer cases continue to rise, and with the pathology practice experiencing a worldwide shortage, AI-based technologies can drive new workflows for pathology that will be critical for improving cancer care practices for patients, pathologists, labs and entire healthcare systems
“This is a significant step in realising the benefits of AI tools within the UK as we continue to redefine traditional workflows across our NHS network.
“Our NHS clients will benefit from this additional quality assurance measure as well as new service offerings, including singular AI screening of all prostate biopsies within a 24-hour period and UKAS internal audits.
“The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for advancing innovation and utilising new technologies to improve patient care.
“And, by using AI and digital pathology, we are better prepared to continue to work effectively during lockdowns, and handle the anticipated surge in the volume of tests and an increase of the pathology workload once we emerge from this pandemic.”