SlideNet: Fast and Accurate Slide Quality Assessment Based on Deep Neural Networks

This work tackles the automatic fine-grained slide quality assessment problem for digitized direct smears test using the Gram staining protocol. Automatic quality assessment can provide useful information for the pathologists and the whole digital pathology workflow. For instance, if the system found a slide to have a low staining quality, it could send a request to the automatic slide preparation system to remake the slide. If the system detects severe damage in the slides, it could notify the experts that manual microscope reading may be required. In order to address the quality assessment problem, we propose a deep neural network based framework to automatically assess the slide quality in a semantic way. Specifically, the first step of our framework is to perform dense fine-grained region classification on the whole slide and calculate the region distribution histogram. Next, our framework will generate assessments of the slide quality from various perspectives: staining quality, information density, damage level and which regions are more valuable for subsequent high-magnification analysis. To make the information more accessible, we present our results in the form of a heat map and text summaries. Additionally, in order to stimulate research in this direction, we propose a novel dataset for slide quality assessment. Experiments show that the proposed framework outperforms recent related works.

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