Year: 2018-19

Company: Roche Diagnostics

Liaison(s): Charles Koyias

Roche Diagnostics is a division of Roche that develops and integrates diagnostic solutions that address the challenges of today and anticipates the needs of tomorrow. Roche Tissue Diagnostics is an innovator of tissue-based diagnostic solutions for patients worldwide by providing the anatomic pathology lab with a powerful combination of instrumentation, medical value assays and digitally integrated workflow.

In this collaboration, the Team Master’s Project team investigated the following question: Is artificial intelligence an existential threat or invaluable aid for pathologists? Since pathologists have been making cancer diagnoses using microscopy for two hundred years, this project examined how a new technology may disrupt a long-standing traditional business. Advances in cancer testing and the growing understanding of the cellular micro-environment within different cancers are increasing the complexity of physician workload. Therefore, using AI may be extremely beneficial for pathologists in diagnosing cancer, allowing for the interpretation of samples that are too complex or time consuming for manual analysis.

The student TMP team interviewed pathologists (and other key stakeholders) at various stages of their career and in various practice environments (community/private, academic, resident, etc.) to gather their perspectives on the emergence of AI in cancer diagnosis as well as their usage of digital pathology platforms. Takeaways from these primary research interviews were combined with secondary research on the competitive landscape and emerging trends in health technology and AI. Ultimately, these insights were used to inform business strategy, assess potential competitive threats, and identify areas of opportunity in this sector for Roche Diagnostics.