An experimental study of pathologist's navigation patterns in virtual microscopy
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Diagnostic Pathology 2010, 5:71 doi:10.1186/1746-1596-5-71Published: 18 November 2010
In virtual microscopy, a sequential process of captures of microscopical fields, allows to construct a virtual slide which is visualized using a specialized software, called the virtual microscopy viewer. This tool allows useful exploration of images, composed of thousands of microscopical fields of view at different levels of magnification, emulating an actual microscopical examination. The aim of this study was to establish the main pathologist's navigation patterns when exploring virtual microscopy slides, using a graphical user interface, adapted to the pathologist's workflow. Four pathologists with a similar level of experience, graduated from the same pathology program, navigated six virtual slides. Different issues were evaluated, namely, the percentage of common visited image regions, the time spent at each and its coincidence level, that is to say, the region of interest location. In addition, navigation patterns were also assessed, i.e., mouse movement velocities and linearity of the diagnostic paths. Results suggest that regions of interest are determined by a complex combination of the visited area, the time spent at each visit and the coincidence level among pathologists. Additionally, linear trajectories and particular velocity patterns were found for the registered diagnostic paths.