.AI & Cytology.

The History of the Pap Test

1940’s – 1954
1996 – 1999
2002 – 2003
2015 – 2018

1940’s – 1954

Pictures of the begining of Cytology history

1940’s – Pap Testing
1954 – Atlas of Exfoliative Cytology
George N. Papanicolaou

Conventional Pap smears

The conventional Pap test is certainly the most cost-effective cancer reduction program ever created. The first cervical cancer screening institutions were established in the 1940s after the important discovery of George N. Papanicolaou, who gave his name to the staining protocol that is still the international standard. This staining protocol is applied to cells collected from the cervix using a spatula, or using a brush in the case of modern Liquid Based Cytology (LBC).

1996 – 1999

liquid based cytology

1996 – ThinPrep® PapTest
FDA Approval
By Cytyc Corp.
Now ThinPrep® by Hologic Inc.

1999 – AutoCyte™ Prep
FDA Approval
By TriPath Imaging Inc.
Now SurePath™ by :
Becton Dickinson Corp.

Liquid-Based Cytology (LBC)

In 1996, a major event in the history of the Pap Test occurred when the FDA approved the ThinPrep® Pap test (Hologic Inc.) as an alternative to the conventional cervicovaginal smear. This was followed 3 years later by the approval of AutoCyteTM Prep, now SurePathTM (Becton Dickinson Inc.). These are the two first liquid-based cytology technologies approved for cervical cancer screening in the United States.

2002 – 2003

Cancer sreening device, slides and microscope

2002 – AutoPap System
FDA Approval for Primary Screening
By TriPath Imaging Inc.
Now FocalPoint™ GS Imaging System by Becton Dickinson Corp.

2003 – ThinPrep® Imaging System
FDA Approval for Primary Screening
By Cytyc Inc.
Now ThinPrep® Imaging System by Hologic Inc.

Automated Screening using Image Analysis

In 1998, the FDA approved the first automated system for cervical smears screening, called the AutoPap System (TriPath Imaging Inc.), followed by approval in 2002 for primary screening using SurePathTM slides. Then, in 2003, the ThinPrep® Imaging System by Cytyc Corporation received approval for ThinPrep® Pap slides. These systems are still in use and select a given number of fields of view (FOV) that the experts must check for abnormalities. If abnormal cells are found in one of these FOV, they have to manually review the whole slide to make their diagnosis.
So for a long time, cervical cancer screening has been limited to the interpretation of what the human eye can view under a microscope. Most of the cytology departments are still using glass slides with standard microscopes. At best, some laboratories are using motorized microscopes with the FOV selections proposed by these automated systems.


Are labs going to continue
to interpret glass slides manually?


Why not leverage improved accuracy
thanks to automatic detection
of cells that the human eye can miss?

Are labs going to continue spending time
reading normal slides, while positive
cases are waiting for an urgent diagnosis?


CytoProcessor can analyse a whole slide image and apply specialized algorithms to enhance the work of the pathologist.

Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence

In recent years, digital cytology has gone from an idea to an integral part of how commercial labs should operate. These technologies are transforming the economics and practice of cytology.
Now is the time to bring DATEXIM’s digital cytology into the laboratory. Our data scientists have achieved the promise of digital and computational cytology with the use of artificial intelligence software based on image processing, deep learning and machine learning. We can “read” a whole slide image and apply specialized algorithms to enhance the work of the pathologist.

Innovative technological device for medical images analysis



Thanks to DATEXIM’s CytoProcessor® solution,

labs will be able to pursue limitless possibilities for their patients, customers and business.