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Fighting blood diseases with artificial intelligence

A team from Helmholtz Munich has developed the largest open access database on microscopic images of bone marrow cells to date. It consists of more than 170,000 single-cell images from over 900 patients with various blood diseases.

Christian Matek, lead author a new study on the work said: “On top of our database, we have developed a neural network that outperforms previous machine learning algorithms for cell classification in terms of accuracy, but also in terms of generalisability.”

The deep neural network is a machine learning concept specifically designed to process images.

“The analysis of bone marrow cells has not yet been performed with such advanced neural networks,” Christian Matek explains, “which is also due to the fact that high-quality, public datasets have not been available until now.”

The researchers aim to further expand their bone marrow cell database to capture a broader range of findings and to prospectively validate their model.

“The database and the model are freely available for research and training purposes – to educate professionals or as a reference for further AI-based approaches e.g. in blood cancer diagnostics,” says study leader Carsten Marr.

Image credit | Shutterstock

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