Definition of Telepathology

Telepathology: The use of telecommunications technology to facilitate the transfer of image-rich pathology data between remote locations for the purposes of diagnosis, education, and research.

Telepathology systems are divided into three major types: static image-based systems, real-time systems, and virtual slide systems. Static image systems have major benefits of being the most reasonably priced and usable in the widest range of settings, but have the significant drawback in only being able to capture a selected subset of microscopic fields. Real-time systems and virtual slides allow a consultant pathologist the opportunity to evaluate the entire specimen. With real-time systems, the consultant actively operates a microscope located at a distant site -- changing focus, illumination, magnification, and field of view at will. Virtual slide systems utilize an automated scanner that takes a visual image of the entire slide, which can then be forwarded to another location for diagnosis.

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