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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.3-5 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.