Saturday, May 5, 2012

Crowdsourced Pathology, Thanks to Video Gamers

This study suggests that pathology diagnosis could be made available across the developing world at virtually the same quality of the developed world for virtually negligible cost by using crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourced Pathology, Thanks to Video Gamers

Researchers from UCLA's School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Medicine have designed a system that can harness distant groups of people to analyze pathology images for signs of disease. They tested the ability of non-professionals to quickly learn to detect malaria when looking at images of red blood cells and have shown that if necessary, with a bit of help from online crowds, large groups of people can potentially be screened for the disease.
The system they built relies on video gaming to attract people to do the visual tasks necessary to spot malaria.  The study subjects, mostly untrained newbie undergrads, showed a spotting ability that was within 1.25 percent of medical professionals.
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