Computers trained to detect lung cancer tissue might be more accurate than human doctors.
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that computers trained to detect lung cancer tissue may actually be more accurate than any human doctor. The study’s findings were published in Nature Communications.
Previously, doctors examined tumor tissue mounted on glass slides with a light microscope to determine the severity of the cancer. In layman’s terms, the more abnormal the tissue looks, the more severe the cancer.
Researchers say that this new technology can be incredibly helpful in detecting cancer at any stage. Computers can detect 10,000 traits that are specific to cancer, whereas the human eye can only detect a few hundred. This can mean more precise and accurate diagnoses that won’t be left up to human error.
While scientists at Stanford have only trained the computer to diagnose lung cancer, they say that the technology will work for any type once it is programmed.
“We began the study without any preconceived ideas, and we let the software determine which characteristics are important. In hindsight, everything makes sense. And the computers can assess even tiny differences across thousands of samples many times more accurately and rapidly than a human,” Michael Snyder added in a press release.
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