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Outside the Lab COVID-19, Profession, Technology and innovation

Brave New World

Created by David Levine, based on an idea by Alessandro Lugli.

Inti Zlobec, Bastian Dislich, Tilman Rau, Oliver Jochum, Therese Waldburger, Alessandro Lugli, and Aurel Perren, Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Switzerland

Pathology is undergoing an exciting transformation – digitization. We hear about it all the time. “Digitization and artificial intelligence will revolutionize the field!” its proponents declare.

Love it or hate it, digital pathology is the future. There will be quick access to slides from digital archives, reduced turnaround times for second opinions, image analysis of biomarkers for precision medicine, and artificial intelligence algorithms that will hugely impact pathologists’ daily lives. Digitization was also on our institute’s “to do” list. We wanted to save pathologists’ time and resources and allow them to benefit from the added value of a digital image. We also defined a clear “non-aim” – to have pathologists away from colleagues, working from home (or from the beach, computer in one hand, caipirinha in the other!). In 2018, we put together a digital pathology team. We met, we planned, we discussed, we dabbled in image analysis… we procrastinated. Why? Because we could. Change is often unwelcome, especially if it threatens to take away the one tool that defines your profession – in this case, the microscope.

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About the Author

Michael Schubert

While obtaining degrees in biology from the University of Alberta and biochemistry from Penn State College of Medicine, I worked as a freelance science and medical writer. I was able to hone my skills in research, presentation and scientific writing by assembling grants and journal articles, speaking at international conferences, and consulting on topics ranging from medical education to comic book science. As much as I’ve enjoyed designing new bacteria and plausible superheroes, though, I’m more pleased than ever to be at Texere, using my writing and editing skills to create great content for a professional audience.

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