Pathologists' first opinions on barriers and facilitators of computational pathology adoption in oncological pathology: an international study

J. Swillens, I. Nagtegaal, S. Engels, A. Lugli, R. Hermens and J. van der Laak

Oncogene 2023;42:2816-2827.

DOI PMID Cited by ~2

AbstractComputational pathology (CPath) algorithms detect, segment or classify cancer in whole slide images, approaching or even exceeding the accuracy of pathologists. Challenges have to be overcome before these algorithms can be used in practice. We therefore aim to explore international perspectives on the future role of CPath in oncological pathology by focusing on opinions and first experiences regarding barriers and facilitators. We conducted an international explorative eSurvey and semi-structured interviews with pathologists utilizing an implementation framework to classify potential influencing factors. The eSurvey results showed remarkable variation in opinions regarding attitude, understandability and validation of CPath. Interview results showed that barriers focused on the quality of available evidence, while most facilitators concerned strengths of CPath. A lack of consensus was present for multiple factors, such as the determination of sufficient validation using CPath, the preferred function of CPath within the digital workflow and the timing of CPath introduction in pathology education. The diversity in opinions illustrates variety in influencing factors in CPath adoption. A next step would be to quantitatively determine important factors for adoption and initiate validation studies. Both should include clear case descriptions and be conducted among a more homogenous panel of pathologists based on sub specialization.