The ‘deep learning’ computers in Anant Madabhushi’s diagnostic imaging lab at Case Western Reserve University routinely defeat their human counterparts in diagnosing heart failure, detecting various cancers and predicting their strength.
But Madabhushi–even as he gladly touts three recent examples of apparent cyber superiority played out in his lab–also dismisses any implication of a coming future when such machines replace pathologists and radiologists.
“There’s initially always going to be some wincing and anxiety among pathologists and radiologists over this idea–that our computational imaging technology can outperform us or even take our jobs,” said Madabhushi, whose center has made significant diagnostic advances in cardiovascular disease and also brain, lung, breast, prostate and head and neck cancers since opening in 2012.
Madabhushi, the F. Alex Nason Professor II of biomedical engineering at the Case School of Engineering, contends that his research is not only introducing invaluable diagnostic tools, but also helping to identify those patients with less aggressive disease who may not need more aggressive therapy.
Since 2016, Madabhushi and his team have received over $9.5 million from the National Cancer Institute to develop computational tools for analysis of digital pathology images of breast, lung and head and neck cancers to
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