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Research Letter
January 2016

Optical Biopsy of Bladder Cancer Using Crowd-Sourced Assessment

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Urology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
  • 2Department of Urology, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 3VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(1):90-93. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.3121

Crowdsourcing and optical biopsy are emerging technologies with broad applications in clinical medicine and research. Crowdsourcing, an interactive digital platform that uses multiple individual contributions to efficiently perform a complex task, has been successfully used in diverse disciplines ranging from performance assessment in surgery to optimization of tertiary protein conformations.1,2 Optical biopsy technologies provide real-time tissue imaging with histology-like resolution and the potential to guide intraoperative decision making.35 An example is confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE), which can be used for the diagnosis and grading of bladder cancer.6 To further assess the adoptability of optical biopsy as a diagnostic tool, we applied crowdsourcing to determine the barriers to learning how to diagnose cancer using CLE. We hypothesized that a nonmedically trained crowd could learn to rapidly and accurately distinguish between cancer and benign tissue.

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