Dr Harsh Mahajan, Founder & Chief Radiologist, Mahajan Imaging, spoke about the perks of combining imaging and pathology and genomics during his talk on ‘Integrated diagnostics – The future is here’
Dr Mahajan started his presentation by recalling a commonplace obstacle that clinicians face — radiology data is complex and hard to decipher. He said that there is an urgent need for integrated diagnostics. And one of the first steps in that direction would be integrated diagnostics, to combine pathology radiology and genomics.
“We need to move beyond the traditional pathology-radiology relationship,” said Dr Mahajan. Such a setup will have mutually interdependence but limited touchpoints to form a deeply integrated workflow. And clear communication, he believes, will be the key to unlock the potential of integrated diagnostics.
Further speaking on the evolving sphere of diagnostics, Dr Mahajan talked about integrated tumour boards. The board will allow for a converged radiology and pathology data to be viewed together, enabling the members to be able to instantaneously resolve any discordance, and provide a reconciled report in all concordant cases. This will improve quality, reduce risks and the system has a great potential especially in case of breast cancer. “And a radiologist with the knowledge of digital data is best suited to become this new integrated diagnostic specialist,” he mentioned.
Dismissing that AI will make the role of a radiologist irresolute, Dr Mahajan opined that the latest development in the computational sciences will rather empower them. He stated that the radiology community needs to apply deep learning and machine learning to diagnostics and engage in large scale data curation and autonomous analysis using AI. This will ensure that the output is low, high quality and low on errors. This can be especially viable in a country like India. He also proposed curation of an India-wide normative data and a collaboration between the public and private sectors to develop AI algorithms suitable for a demographically complex country like India to reap the benefits of the latest technological advances.
Dr Mahajan also talked about three possible ways of integrating genomics and imaging and said that merging the two can increase the value across the clinical continuum. The radiology community can learn from genomics, and the vice- versa is also true, he stated. He also spoke about how such an integration can help specialists to design specific screening programmes in a step towards personalised diagnosis.