Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 45

Experience with multimodality telepathology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center


Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, USA

Correspondence Address:
Liron Pantanowitz
Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2153-3539.104907

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Several modes of telepathology exist including static (store-and-forward), dynamic (live video streaming or robotic microscopy), and hybrid technology involving whole slide imaging (WSI). Telepathology has been employed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) for over a decade at local, national, and international sites. All modes of telepathology have been successfully utilized to exploit our institutions subspecialty expertise and to compete for pathology services. This article discusses the experience garnered at UPMC with each of these teleconsultation methods. Static and WSI telepathology systems have been utilized for many years in transplant pathology using a private network and client-server architecture. Only minor clinically significant differences of opinion were documented. In hematopathology, the CellaVision® system is used to transmit, via email, static images of blood cells in peripheral blood smears for remote interpretation. While live video streaming has remained the mode of choice for providing immediate adequacy assessment of cytology specimens by telecytology, other methods such as robotic microscopy have been validated and shown to be effective. Robotic telepathology has been extensively used to remotely interpret intra-operative neuropathology consultations (frozen sections). Adoption of newer technology and increased pathologist experience has improved accuracy and deferral rates in teleneuropathology. A digital pathology consultation portal (https://pathconsult.upmc.com/) was recently created at our institution to facilitate digital pathology second opinion consults, especially for WSI. The success of this web-based tool is the ability to handle vendor agnostic, large image files of digitized slides, and ongoing user-friendly customization for clients and teleconsultants. It is evident that the practice of telepathology at our institution has evolved in concert with advances in technology and user experience. Early and continued adoption of telepathology has promoted additional digital pathology resources that are now being leveraged for other clinical, educational, and research purposes.


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