Digital Microscopy: A Survey to Examine Patterns of Use and Technology Standards

Peter Kragel and Philip Kragel (USA)


Digital microscopy, monitor resolution, and quality assurance


Recent advances in data storage, scanning technology, and viewing software enable pathology departments to use digital microscopic images of histologic sections of tissue for both teaching and clinical diagnosis. Such technology is being aggressively marketed, and the number of pathology departments using digital microscopy is expected to continue to increase. As more and more departments use digital microscopy for teaching and clinical diagnosis, it will be important to identify technology standards that will assure that high quality images are available for interpretation. A survey was conducted to identify the presence or absence of such standards in academic pathology departments in the United States. The manner in which standards were determined, use of digital microscopy in teaching and clinical diagnosis, and the overall satisfaction with digital microscopy was also identified. Survey results indicate that most departments have not adopted digital microscopy technology standards. Further studies to delineate a process whereby such standards are identified and disseminated are recommended.

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