Visual Analytics in histopathology diagnostics: a protocol-based approach

Supporting the pathologist with Computer-Aided Quantitative Analysis 

Computer-Aided-Diagnosis (CAD) systems supporting the diagnostic process are widespread in radiology. Digital Pathology is still behind in the introduction of such solutions. Several studies investigated pathologists’ behavior but only a few aimed to improve the diagnostic and report process with novel applications. In this work we designed and implemented a first protocol-based CAD viewer supported by visual analytics. The system targets the optimization of the diagnostic workflow in breast cancer diagnosis by means of three image analysis features that belong to the standard grading system (Nottingham Histologic Grade). A pathologist’s routine was tracked during the examination of breast cancer tissue slides and diagnostic traces were analyzed from a qualitative perspective. Accordingly, a set of generic requirements was elicited to define the design and the implementation of the CAD-Viewer. A first qualitative evaluation conducted with five pathologists shows that the interface suffices the diagnostic workflow and diminishes the manual effort. We present promising evidence of the usefulness of our CAD-viewer and opportunities for its extension and integration in clinical practice. As a conclusion, the findings demonstrate that it is feasibile to optimize the Nottingham Grading workflow and, generally, the histological diagnosis by integrating computational pathology data with visual analytics techniques.

A short demo that shows how pathologists can take advantage of CAD-Tiles in tumor cell examination and mitotic counting