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Digital Pathology: Accuracy, Viewing Behavior and Image Characterization (with PI: Joann Elmore at Harborview and others)


Pathologic assessment for a cancer diagnosis has for years been the “gold standard” guiding clinical care and research endeavors. However, diagnostic misclassification that can compromise clinical and research outcomes occurs in the interpretation of breast biopsy specimens, particularly at the benign to malignant and in-situ to invasive thresholds. At this point in time, technological advances are enabling widespread use of digitized whole slides. However, while this new technology has not been verified compared to glass slides it provides a much more feasible medium for evaluating visual screening behavior than a traditional microscope. For these reasons, we have designed a research program that will evaluate diagnostic accuracy on digital compared to glass slides and evaluate individuals visual screening of digital images. In-depth scientific evaluation of the visual screening behind each pathologist’s review of a slide, including characteristics of both viewing behavior and image regions they deem important, is critical to understanding the possible sources of errors and identifying the most effective viewing techniques for reducing errors. Bringing together a multi-faceted group of investigators, will move us closer to our ultimate goal of ensuring high-quality clinical care.