Point-of-care mobile digital microscopy and deep learning for the detection of soil-transmitted helminths and Schistosoma haematobium
Holmström, Oscar; Linder, Nina; Ngasala, Billy; Mårtensson, Andreas; Linder, Ewert; Lundin, Mikael; Moilanen, Hannu; Suutala, Antti; Diwan, Vinod; Lundin, Johan (2017-08-25)
Holmström, O., Linder, N., Ngasala, B., Mårtensson, A., Linder, E., Lundin, M., Moilanen, H., Suutala, A., Diwan, V., Lundin, J. (2017) Point-of-care mobile digital microscopy and deep learning for the detection of soil-transmitted helminths and Schistosoma haematobium. Global Health Action, 10 (sup3), 1337325. doi:10.1080/16549716.2017.1337325
© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background:Microscopy remains the gold standard in the diagnosis of neglected tropical diseases. As resource limited, rural areas often lack laboratory equipment and trained personnel, new diagnostic techniques are needed. Low-cost, point-of-care imaging devices show potential in the diagnosis of these diseases. Novel, digital image analysis algorithms can be utilized to automate sample analysis.
Objective:Evaluation of the imaging performance of a miniature digital microscopy scanner for the diagnosis of soil-transmitted helminths and Schistosoma haematobium, and training of a deep learning-based image analysis algorithm for automated detection of soil-transmitted helminths in the captured images.
Methods:A total of 13 iodine-stained stool samples containing Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworm eggs and 4 urine samples containing Schistosoma haematobium were digitized using a reference whole slide-scanner and the mobile microscopy scanner. Parasites in the images were identified by visual examination and by analysis with a deep learning-based image analysis algorithm in the stool samples. Results were compared between the digital and visual analysis of the images showing helminth eggs.
Results:Parasite identification by visual analysis of digital slides captured with the mobile microscope was feasible for all analyzed parasites. Although the spatial resolution of the reference slide-scanner is higher, the resolution of the mobile microscope is sufficient for reliable identification and classification of all parasites studied. Digital image analysis of stool sample images captured with the mobile microscope showed high sensitivity for detection of all helminths studied (range of sensitivity = 83.3–100%) in the test set (n = 217) of manually labeled helminth eggs.
Conclusions:In this proof-of-concept study, the imaging performance of a mobile, digital microscope was sufficient for visual detection of soil-transmitted helminths and Schistosoma haematobium. Furthermore, we show that deep learning-based image analysis can be utilized for the automated detection and classification of helminths in the captured images.
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