Deciphex

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2 August 2018

Deciphex and GI Partners of Illinois Enter Strategic Alliance to Develop World’s Largest GI Pathology Content Database for Deep Learning.

Deciphex and GI Partners of Illinois, LLC (a large merger of several gastroenterology practices in Illinois) have established a strategic alliance to co-develop the world’s largest database of annotated, gastrointestinal (GI), digital pathology content for deep learning purposes.

Pathologists are at the heart of the diagnostic process, in particular, cancer and inflammatory diagnostics. Growing pressure on the discipline is driving longer turnaround times on diagnoses and the potential of increased diagnostic error and oversight. This ultimately keeps patients waiting for critical news and can potentially erode confidence in the diagnosis being provided.

Deciphex, an exciting new company based in DUBLIN, IRELAND, is using artificial intelligence and deep learning to automate diagnosis of tissue slides to improve productivity. This is part of the emerging Computer Aided Diagnosis (CADx) pathology sector, which will help pathologists focus on the critical disease content, improving clinical turnaround time and patient confidence.

Endoscopy and colonoscopy are convenient ways to review the digestive tract for abnormalities, and also provide a convenient method to biopsy those potential abnormalities. Over 15 million endoscopic biopsies are taken each year in the US. A high percentage of this number are normal, tying up pathologists valuable time. We propose the introduction of high performing screening algorithms to facilitate alleviation of some of this burden, allowing pathology to focus on the critical content.

A Large database is key to the development of robust diagnostic deep learning algorithms. Algorithms of this nature require thousands of content pieces to robustly perform and be useful in routine clinical practice. It is anticipated that at least 10,000 unique clinical cases will be required to develop high performing algorithms in a given discipline. The content provided under this collaboration, along with high quality annotations from expert pathologists will help Deciphex develop high performance algorithms fit for clinical requirements.

Donal O’Shea Ph.D., Chief Executive of Deciphex says,

“We are really excited to be working with GI Partners of Illinois on this very ambitious project.  We see this content set is of huge strategic value for Deciphex, allowing us to build robust, high performance solutions for GI Pathology.”

Dr Charles Berkelhammer, a gastroenterologist on the executive board of GI Partners of Illinois, LLC says that gastroenterologists perform a large number of biopsies to exclude microscopic abnormalities that may not be visible to the eye during an endoscopic procedure. The only way to make a correct diagnoses in these conditions is by microscopic pathologic evaluation. This includes conditions such as helicobacter pylori gastritis, celiac disease, Barrett’s esophagus, eosinophilic esophagitis, microscopic colitis, collagenous colitis, and mild forms of inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s colitis. Occasionally, microscopic spread of cancer may also not be visible to the eye.  Since some cancers can spread to the gastrointestinal tract microscopically, without any visible endoscopic abnormalities, biopsy evaluation is required. As a result, a large number of biopsies are taken, most of which turn out to be normal. This detracts the pathologist from focusing his attention on what matters most – the smaller percent of patients in whom a malignant or inflammatory condition exists. Having a method to prioritize a pathologists time and attention would tremendously facilitate patient care.

Deciphex, an Enterprise Ireland High Potential Startup, based in INVENT DCU, Dublin, Ireland, plans to revolutionize pathology through automation of visual examination of tissue. Founded by former Danaher executives’ Dr Donal O’Shea and Mark Gregson, our mission is to optimize pathology workflows by helping pathologists focus on critical content.

Deciphex, an Enterprise Ireland High Potential Startup, based in INVENT DCU, Dublin, Ireland, plans to revolutionize pathology through automation of visual examination of tissue. Founded by former Danaher executives’ Dr Donal O’Shea and Mark Gregson, our mission is to optimize pathology workflows by helping pathologists focus on critical content.

Dr Mairin Rafferty, Deciphex COO with Dr Charles Berkelhammer, executive board member of GI Partners of Illinois, LLC on the announcement of the collaboration in Chicago.

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