Would you like to use digital pathology, but have no infrastructure to support it?
Don't worry, you don't need any if you start with the basics.
Telemicroscopy that uses a Class I, remote robotic microscope to view slides LIVE, versus digitizing many or all glass slides with a scanner, will give you all the benefits of digital pathology, but without the cost or time required to set it up.
Top 5 Reasons to Start with Telemicroscopy
1. Real-Time Viewing
Live telemicroscopy, or live telepathology, allows pathologists to perform a comprehensive, traditional microscopic evaluation of the original glass slide specimen, making their expertise instantaneously available anytime, anywhere.
In live telemicroscopy, unlike in digital pathology*, a digitized whole-slide image is not created. Instead, a pathologist uses live video streaming and a remotely controlled microscope to instantaneously, in real-time, control everything they want to see on the original glass slide. This means not only don't pathologists have to wait for a slide to be scanned and uploaded, but they also have the advantage of reviewing the original image, which is imperative for clinical applications.
2. Ease of Use
A robotic microscope that has 5 true objectives is no different from a traditional microscope—except that it can be controlled remotely by a pathologist at a computer. This means that there is no learning curve with the device whatsoever, and pathologists can get up and running on a system immediately.
3. Size and Convenience
A compact telemicroscopy system can fit on any bench, in any room, even on a mobile cart. With high-throughput digital pathology scanners, more space—sometimes a dedicated room—is required to accommodate the systems. Not only does this require more overhead, but it also requires a trip from histology down to the scanning room, which is time-consuming. A telemicroscopy system the size of a bread box can easily live in the histology lab, allowing for an efficient workflow for all involved.
High-throughput digital pathology systems are not only hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they require extensive infrastructure. More desks, or even an entire room, may be needed to house the large systems, along with dedicated staff to manage loading, scanning, and troubleshooting. Once scanned, the large images will require image servers and robust IT networks that can handle the storage and bandwidth required, as well as integration with existing lab image management systems.
Real-time, robotic telemicroscopy systems are a small fraction of the cost of high-throughput scanners, and require none of the infrastructure expenditures.
From a regulatory perspective, any technology that interpolates or renders an image of a glass slide can largely only be used in research settings. But live telemicroscopy technology that uses a truly live feed of the original glass slide can be used in clinical applications such as remote on-site evaluation of adequacy (ROSE) in cytology applications, frozen sections, tumor board sharing, MOHS procedures, and remote examinations. Because live telemicroscopy delivers the versatility of the traditional microscope, it is also perfect for difficult or challenging samples.
Start with the basics, and build as your needs grow. If, down the road, you find that you would like to scan images in addition to telemicroscopy, consider a low-to-medium capacity, dual-mode system that offers both live and scanning capabilities.