Biopsy tests are a crucial step in diagnosing cancer, but the process of sending samples to a pathology laboratory and waiting for results can be time-consuming and life-threatening. A new development at the Sheba Medical Center has revolutionized this process by using artificial intelligence technology to quickly identify tumor characteristics.
The technology was developed by imagene, a promising Tel Aviv start-up founded in 2020 by three young developers. The company’s AI technology allows digital scanning devices to identify countless tumor characteristics within minutes, creating an “identity card” of the cancerous tumor.
In the first phase, the Sheba Medical Center began using the technology on cancerous tumors after switching from glass to digital scans for biopsies. This change has allowed doctors to view samples remotely and provide quick answers to patients even when they are not in the laboratory. The computers in the pathology laboratory now work overtime, scanning thousands of algorithms to identify tumor characteristics and mutations.
Professor Iris Brashak, director of the pathology laboratory at Sheba and chairman of the Israeli Pathology Association, says that this advanced technology has saved lives by providing initial answers within a few minutes, allowing doctors to make informed decisions about treatment options for patients with metastatic lung cancer who previously had to wait three weeks for genetic sequencing results. With this new development, patients can receive faster and more accurate diagnoses, improving their chances of survival and quality of life.