Diagnostic Review with Digital Pathology: Design of digitals tools for routine diagnostic use
Doktorsavhandling, 2016

Digital pathology is a novel technology currently being implemented world wide. This thesis summarizes four years of HCI and visualization research and provides an overall understanding of designing workstation software for pathologists. A human-centered design approach has been used to create a number of design interventions. The thesis covers three main areas of inquiry: Understanding pathologists’ problem solving processes during diagnostic review, how to build different digital tools to support those processes, and how to incorporate digital image analysis algorithms when building these tools. The thesis consist of a kappa that provides background and context, to the remaining appended papers. The papers describe studies covering, pathologists’ navigation strategies in gigapixel sized images, the usability of different input devices and structured reporting interfaces, how principles from volume rendering can be used for multi-scale images, and how make to use of machine learning algorithms to support pathologists’ diagnostic processes. Together, these design projects show how digital pathology images can be used to create tools to make pathologists more productive. This will make it possible for pathology laboratories to replace their diagonstic workflow using glass slides, with a workflow based on digital images.

Digital pathology


Human-computer interaction

Jupiter 520
Opponent: Helwig Hauser, University of Bergen, Norway


Jesper Molin

Chalmers, Tillämpad informationsteknologi, Interaktionsdesign (Chalmers)

Cancer tumors have been diagnosed for over 150 years by manually looking at the tumor under the light of the microscope. New digital imaging technology is now being developed to provide doctors with new powerful tools to enable faster and more accurate cancer diagnostics.  This way, today’s unnecessarily long waiting times for cancer patients to receive their treatment could be reduced.

Around 60 000 new cancer patients are diagnosed in Sweden every year. This means that every third person can expect to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. However, treatments are getting better so two out of three cancer patients survive thanks to improved treatments. One of the most successful strategies has been to divide tumors into different subtypes and tailor the treatment for each specific tumor. Currently, cancer tumors are divided into around 200 subtypes. This strategy has put a tremendous burden on pathologists, the specialists that perform the subtyping.

This thesis presents the results from a research effort to create the next generation of digital diagnostic tools for pathologists. Instead of diagnosing the tumors with microscopes, they are scanned digitally, which allow diagnostic review using computer workstations. This makes it possible to use ergonomic input devices and to integrate report creation directly into the image review.

A further possibility that is explored is to use digital image analysis to automatically detect, classify and count tumor cells. This could help speed up the diagnostic process. However, tools based on automatic algorithms need to be used with care, since they cannot deal with unforeseen cases. The second part of the thesis explores ways that this problem could be overcome by using different interactive visualization techniques.


Informations- och kommunikationsteknik


Data- och informationsvetenskap


Människa-datorinteraktion (interaktionsdesign)



Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4178


Chalmers tekniska högskola

Jupiter 520

Opponent: Helwig Hauser, University of Bergen, Norway