Digital pathology and artificial intelligence

Lancet Oncol. 2019 May;20(5):e253-e261. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30154-8.


In modern clinical practice, digital pathology has a crucial role and is increasingly a technological requirement in the scientific laboratory environment. The advent of whole-slide imaging, availability of faster networks, and cheaper storage solutions has made it easier for pathologists to manage digital slide images and share them for clinical use. In parallel, unprecedented advances in machine learning have enabled the synergy of artificial intelligence and digital pathology, which offers image-based diagnosis possibilities that were once limited only to radiology and cardiology. Integration of digital slides into the pathology workflow, advanced algorithms, and computer-aided diagnostic techniques extend the frontiers of the pathologist's view beyond a microscopic slide and enable true utilisation and integration of knowledge that is beyond human limits and boundaries, and we believe there is clear potential for artificial intelligence breakthroughs in the pathology setting. In this Review, we discuss advancements in digital slide-based image diagnosis for cancer along with some challenges and opportunities for artificial intelligence in digital pathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted*
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted*
  • Microscopy*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Pathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Workflow