Being able to bring justified and traceable responses has become an ethical priority for the patients and the healthcare professionals in modern medicine. In the projects leaded with our partners during the last few years, we initiated a semantic cognitive virtual microscopy approach. Focusing on digital pathology, this approach leaded to the elaboration of routine-pathology-lab-compliant protocols dedicated to mitotic count and nuclear atypia. A proof of concept has so been elaborated in the framework of MICO (COgnitive MIcroscopy) ANR (French National Research Agency) TecSan (Technology for Health) project. An extension of these approaches is now on going under the collaborative telepathology project FlexMIm funded by the Consolidated Interministerial Fund (FUI - Fonds Unique Interministériel) of the French Ministry of Industry.
Pioneer international benchmarking initiatives leaded by our team in the framework of Int. Conf. Pattern Recognition (ICPR) conferences in 2012 (MITOS – Tsukuba, Japan) and 2014 (MITOS & ATYPIA – Stockholm, Sweden) allow building a professional validation referential database for Digital Pathology. This reference database could constitute a milestone in the elaboration of an acceptance protocol for all future imaging modules able to be integrated in clinical routine. Despite the fantastic advances of molecular imaging and genetics, keeping the microscopic modality at the core of the future digital systems in pathology is fundamental to insure the acceptance of these new technologies in clinical routine, as to advance the deep comprehension of the pathologies. A major effort will need to be concentrated nowadays on morphological micro-semiology, the correlation between digital pathology and non-invasive medical imaging modalities, as on the models able to make the link between the microscopy and novel label free technologies. Besides, the big-data challenge is already a reality in Digital Pathology. Therefore, designing an integrative microscopy framework needs to focus on scalable multi-scale imaging formalisms as - among others - Marked Point Process and Point-set Mathematical Morphology. This insight presentation is an illustration of our vision through an instantiation of essential bricks of this type of architecture.