Scanning Facility AI FORGE

NPIC AI FORGE: A Unique Multi-Scanner Digital Pathology Testbed for Artificial Intelligence Development and Evaluation

Artificial intelligence (AI) systems are highly sensitive to alterations in input data, resulting in compromise of real-world performance. To address this problem, NPIC have created the AI FORGE (Facilitating Opportunities for Robust Generalisable data Emulation), a unique multi-scanner facility to replicate digital pathology image datasets on multiple scanners, embedded within an NHS hospital.

NPIC’s AI FORGE has broad capabilities including:

  • High-capacity scanning of 1×3 inch slides in batches of up to 450
  • 3×2 inch slide scanning at 5 different magnification captures
  • Z-stacking across 3 instruments

At peak capacity the NPIC AI FORGE can generate over 3000 WSI images per day, equating to over 5Tb of data utilising 11 scanners from 6 vendors:

  • Leica Biosystems – 3 x GT450s and AT2
  • Roche – DP200 and DP600
  • Hamamatsu – S360 and S60
  • 3DHistech – P250 Flash
  • Olympus – VS200
  • Objective Imaging – Glissando

Click here for more information on NPIC’s FORGE Scanning Platforms

Dr Matt Humphries – Research Operations Manager
‘AI offers the potential for a revolution in pathology. The accuracy of algorithms applied to pathology images is largely dependent on the size and quality of the datasets used to train the model. The creation of generalised AI tools ideally requires whole slide images obtained from different institutions, a range of digital scanning platforms at the same magnification, a selection of staining platforms and across multiple batches. NPIC’s AI FORGE is uniquely and ideally placed to meet those needs’.

Dr Darren Treanor – NPIC Director
‘The ability to replicate images across multiple scanning platforms will open a huge opportunity to improve AI in digital pathology. We will be able to map differences between data sets across systems, and measure the impact instruments have on the performance of AI tools. We can quality control each digital pathology system to specific calibration settings, ensuring the creation of robust and reliable multi-instrument data for the training of AI models. To our knowledge, this is the only such digital pathology facility in the world’.

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