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A travel report of the implementation of virtual whole slide images in routine surgical pathology

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Virtual microscopy is the terminology used to indicate the use of digitized images of whole slides for inspection of cells and tissue sections on computer screens as an add‐on or replacement for conventional microscopy using bright field or other types of illumination in combination with a wide variety of microscope brands. Although technically there is no longer a limit in the size and colour composition of the images, the logistics of embedding virtual microscopy in daily routine of a diagnostic process are still a relatively open area where new pitfalls and opportunities can be found. In this article, we described various aspects in the process. None of them had been planned in advance, but mostly originated from observations done during the different steps towards implementation of virtual microscopy in daily routine, for example, the choice between the different scanner types and their (dis)advantages, issues on storing and retrieval and at last, the effect of digitalization on the diagnostic process. This approach resulted in a manuscript that in a way has more the appearance of a story than of a scientific study with strict protocols, with a clear cut question in advance, a research plan and expected outcome. Depending on the purpose of the virtual slides in a given situation, different solutions must be found locally.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0463.2011.02870.x

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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