Digital Molecular Medicine
Analysis of tissue and cells by microscopy is undergoing a transition from an analog to a digital technology and in parallel allows an increasing number of molecular readouts through multiplexed immunoassays. The paradigm shift from human expert based interpretations to computerized readout has vast implications for both clinical medicine and biomedical research. Methods based on computer vision, artificial intelligence and deep learning are applied and studied for tissue and cell profiling and image-based diagnostics.
Digital Molecular Medicine as one of FIMM’s Grand Challenge Programs has attracted a critical mass of researchers within the field of image informatics, computer vision and digital microscopy. As an example of achievements in this field, FIMM is the coordinator of the Biobank Technologies Platform within Biocenter Finland that focuses on providing research infrastructure for digital microscopy on a national level. Also, novel technologies developed at FIMM have been transferred to a spinoff company Fimmic Oy that commercializes software for digital microscopy. In addition, FIMM hosts a Tekes funded FiDiPro Fellowship entitled "Next generation image analysis solutions - towards image-based diagnostics" focused on development of machine learning and image-based readouts.
The digital imaging and readout technologies also create novel solutions that support drug development and novel point-of-care diagnostics. Algorithms include analysis of the tumor microenvironment, detection of cell subtypes and a series of multiplexed protein expression readout methods. Within the IMI funded PREDECT project on novel models for cancer target validation, FIMM is responsible for the workpackage on Systems Medicine and handles samples, tissue profiling and webmicroscopy for the whole consortium. Within the EU funded BioMedBridges project, FIMM has contributed with terminology development for large-scale annotation of digitally scanned tissue samples. In addition, novel methods aimed for point-of-care diagnostics including mobile microscopy and computer vision are being developed and studied.