Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 32

Robotic telecytology for remote cytologic evaluation without an on-site cytotechnologist or cytopathologist: A tale of implementation and review of constraints

1 Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, United States
2 Department of Radiology, Interventional Radiology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, United States

Correspondence Address:
Sahussapont Joseph Sirintrapun
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue A515, New York 10065
United States
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpi.jpi_26_17

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Background: The first satellite center to offer interventional radiology procedures at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center opened in October 2014. Two of the procedures offered, fine needle aspirations and core biopsies, required rapid on-site cytologic evaluation of smears and biopsy touch imprints for cellular content and adequacy. The volume and frequency of such evaluations did not justify hiring on-site cytotechnologists, and therefore, a dynamic robotic telecytology (TC) solution was created. In this technical article, we present a detailed description of our implementation of robotic TC. Methods: Pathology devised the remote robotic TC solution after acknowledging that it would not be cost effective to staff cytotechnologists on-site at the satellite location. Sakura VisionTek was selected as our robotic TC solution. In addition to configuration of the dynamic robotic TC solution, pathology realized integrating the technology solution into operations would require a multidisciplinary effort and reevaluation of existing staffing and workflows. Results: Extensively described are the architectural framework and multidisciplinary process re-design, created to navigate the constraints of our technical, cultural, and organizational environment. Also reviewed are the benefits and challenges associated with available desktop sharing solutions, particularly accounting for information security concerns. Conclusions: Dynamic robotic TC is effective for immediate evaluations performed without on-site cytotechnology staff. Our goal is providing an extensive perspective of the implementation process, particularly technical, cultural, and operational constraints. Through this perspective, our template can serve as an extensible blueprint for other centers interested in implementing robotic TC without on-site cytotechnologists.

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