This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the 10th European Congress on Telepathology and 4th International Congress on Virtual Microscopy
Interactive and automated application of virtual microscopy
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Diagnostic Pathology 2011, 6(Suppl 1):S10 doi:10.1186/1746-1596-6-S1-S10Published: 30 March 2011
Virtual microscopy can be applied in an interactive and an automated manner. Interactive application is performed in close association to conventional microscopy. It includes image standardization suitable to the performance of an individual pathologist such as image colorization, white color balance, or individual adjusted brightness. The steering commands have to include selection of wanted magnification, easy navigation, notification, and simple measurements (distances, areas). The display of the histological image should be adjusted to the physical limits of the human eye, which are determined by a view angle of approximately 35 seconds. A more sophisticated performance should include acoustic commands that replace the corresponding visual commands. Automated virtual microscopy includes so-called microscopy assistants which can be defined similar to the developed assistants in computer based editing systems (Microsoft Word, etc.). These include an automated image standardization and correction algorithms that excludes images of poor quality (for example uni-colored or out-of-focus images), an automated selection of the most appropriate field of view, an automated selection of the best magnification, and finally proposals of the most probable diagnosis. A quality control of the final diagnosis, and feedback to the laboratory determine the proposed system. The already developed tools of such a system are described in detail, as well as the results of first trials. In order to enhance the speed of such a system, and to allow further user-independent development a distributed implementation probably based upon Grid technology seems to be appropriate. The advantages of such a system as well as the present pathology environment and its expectations will be discussed in detail.