Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 36

Complete routine remote digital pathology services

Department of Pathology, Førde Central Hospital, Førde, Norway

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohammad Reza F. Aghdam
Department of Pathology, Førde Central Hospital, 6807 Førde
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Source of Support: Nil., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpi.jpi_34_18

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Background: Validation studies in digital pathology addressed so far diverse aspects of the routine work. We aimed to establish a complete remote digital pathology service. Methods: Altogether 2295 routine cases (8640 slides) were reported in our studies on digital versus microscopic diagnostics, remote reporting, diagnostic time, fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) clinics, frozen sections, and diagnostic sessions with residents. The same senior pathologist was involved in all studies. Slides were scanned by ScanScope AT Turbo (Aperio). Digital images were accessed through the laboratory system (LS) on either 14” laptops or desktop computers with double 23” displays for the remote and on-site digital reporting. Larger displays were used when available for remote reporting. First diagnosis was either microscopic, digital, or remote digital only (6 months washout period). Both diagnoses were recorded separately and compared. Turnaround was measured from the registration to sign off or scanning to diagnosis. A diagnostic time was measured from the point slides were made available to the point of diagnosis or additional investigations were necessary, recorded independently in minutes/session, and compared. Jabber Video (Cisco) and Lync (Microsoft) were interchangeably used for the secure, video supervision of activities. Mobile phone, broadband, broadband over Wi-Fi, and mobile broadband were tested for internet connections. Nine autopsies were performed remotely involving three staff pathologists, one autopsy technician, and one resident over the secure video link. Remote and on-site pathologists independently interpreted and compared gross findings. Diverse benefits and technical aspects were studied using logs or information recorded in LS. Satisfaction surveys on diverse technical and professional aspects of the studies were conducted. Results: The full concordance between digital and light microscopic diagnosis was 99% (594/600 cases). A minor discordance, without clinical implications, was 1% (6/600 cases). The instant upload of digital images was achieved at 20 Mbps. Deference to microscopic slides and rescanning were under 1%. Average turnaround was shorter and percentage of cases reported up to 3 days higher for remote digital reporting. Larger displays improved the most user experience at magnifications over ×20. A digital diagnostic time was shorter than microscopic in 13 sessions. Four sessions with shorter microscopic diagnostic time included more cases requiring extensive use of magnifications over ×20. Independent interpretations of gross findings between remote and on-site pathologists yielded full agreement in the remote autopsies. Delays in reporting of frozen sections and FNAC due to scanning were clinically insignificant. Satisfaction levels with diverse technical and/or professional aspects of all studies were high. Conclusions: Complete routine remote digital pathology services are found feasible in hands of experienced staff. The introduction of digital pathology has improved provisions and organizations of our pathology services in histology, cytology, and autopsy including teaching and interdepartmental collaboration.

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