Requirements for implementation of artificial intelligence in the practice of gastrointestinal pathology

World J Gastroenterol. 2021 Jun 7;27(21):2818-2833. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i21.2818.


Tremendous advances in artificial intelligence (AI) in medical image analysis have been achieved in recent years. The integration of AI is expected to cause a revolution in various areas of medicine, including gastrointestinal (GI) pathology. Currently, deep learning algorithms have shown promising benefits in areas of diagnostic histopathology, such as tumor identification, classification, prognosis prediction, and biomarker/genetic alteration prediction. While AI cannot substitute pathologists, carefully constructed AI applications may increase workforce productivity and diagnostic accuracy in pathology practice. Regardless of these promising advances, unlike the areas of radiology or cardiology imaging, no histopathology-based AI application has been approved by a regulatory authority or for public reimbursement. Thus, implying that there are still some obstacles to be overcome before AI applications can be safely and effectively implemented in real-life pathology practice. The challenges have been identified at different stages of the development process, such as needs identification, data curation, model development, validation, regulation, modification of daily workflow, and cost-effectiveness balance. The aim of this review is to present challenges in the process of AI development, validation, and regulation that should be overcome for its implementation in real-life GI pathology practice.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence; Clinical implementation; Deep learning; Digital image analysis; Digital pathology; Gastrointestinal cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Prognosis
  • Radiology*