Wide-Area Sampling, Artificial Intelligence and Advanced 3D Imaging
This is the simple story behind a sophisticated technology that has already helped make Esophageal Cancer a potentially preventable disease.
What follows is a more detailed overview of WATS3D:
The role of WATS3D, as part of an “Upper Endoscopy,”starts as a superior tissue sampling instrument that painlessly obtain samples from the esophagus in order to test for the presence of precancerous changes. WATS3D painlessly extracts cells from the entire thickness of the epithelium.
Once received at the CDx Diagnostics laboratory, specimens are stained and examined by an advanced computer image analysis system that synthesizes computer imaging, artificial intelligence, molecular biology and three-dimensional cytopathology to detect pre-cancerous change earlier and more reliably than with prior methods.
All of the approximately 100,000 cells on the slide are scanned using a proprietary imaging and computer network that allows a three-dimensional view, resulting in a “3-D Micro-Biopsy.”Several tests are performed on each of the cells on the specimen. Cells of particular interest (based on pre-defined criteria) are then rescanned at a higher resolution to provide a more detailed view. The approximately 200 “most suspicious”cells are then flagged for the pathologist as a starting point for analysis. A pathologist renders the final result following both computer-assisted and manual microscopic examination of the slide.
The high sensitivity of WATS3D is, in part, due to the proprietary, computer imaging system that is based on an algorithm developed as part of the “Star Wars”missile defense program. This neural network performs sophisticated tests on every cell on the slide, allowing any sign of potential abnormality to be caught at the earliest possible stage.
The computer video microscope output is utilized by the pathologist in conjunction with a standard microscopic evaluation of each specimen before rendering a final diagnosis.