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On Thursday 30 July, the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS) hosted a virtual Patient and Public Information (PPI) event to seek the views of nine participants on the proposed use of digital tools and artificial intelligence in pathology.

Histology slide and text box which reads: Patient and Public Event. Cellular Pathology Transformation and Research - Digital Pathology and Artificial Intelligence.

Technological advances in image digitalisation and artificial intelligence (AI) offer great potential to improve the field of pathology. This could result in faster and more efficient diagnosis, as well as enabling pathologists to produce more detailed and accurate diagnosis. In order to test this potential and whether it can be translated into improved processes in diagnostic pathology laboratories, the PathLAKE (Computational Pathology Excellence) project has been established. 

Members of the public were invited to attend the PPI event were Professor Clare Verrill, Dr Richard Colling and Dr David Maldonado-Perez from NDS, along with Professor Jens Rittscher from the Nuffield Department of Medicine, presented the PathLAKE project goals and how the project is looking to use patient's pathology images and associated clinical data to achieve these goals. 

The event, which took place remotely using Microsoft Teams, consisted of presentations, group discussions and interactive surveys.

Dr Maldonado-Perez said: "From the feedback we received from some of the participants that attended, they all found that they were able to get a good understanding of what a pathologist does and the reasons for looking into developing digital tools to aid pathologists in their work. They also provided feedback that the information was presented at the right level for lay people. There was a very positive response to the use of Vevox to have interactive exercises during the event. These exercises in the form of polls and Q&A sessions generated very useful comments from participants and it was possible to get a good understanding of the participant’s views on the proposed use of digital tools and artificial intelligence in pathology. This experience showed to us that the use of remote meetings really work for this type of event; we even have a comment from a participant saying that they preferred this format to face-to-face meetings."