Digital Pathology, Virtual Microscopy and Fluorescence Imaging
Digital Pathology is an image-based information environment enabled by virtual microscopy. This involves imaging glass slides and
saving and distributing their digital images for analysis, archiving and storage.
The virtual microscopy slides are:
- Scanned — using a microscope based scanning device that takes images of the whole slide via large scanning or stitching of smaller scans.
This involves a motorized stage to scan the whole slide. Light source stability is important for scanning in order to prevent illumination
variation across the whole scan. The X-Cite exacte or X-Cite® XYLIS would be commonly used in slide scanning systems.
- Viewed — on a computer via viewing software
- Managed — some of the slides have a barcode that is also scanned to enable archiving with patient information
- Analysed — using image analysis tools and software, structures maybe automatically identified and quantified
- Shared — digital pathology files may be shared over a network to gather additional expert
Digital pathology technology in no way replaces the expert eye and diagnosing power of a pathologist and a doctor. The only thing it saves is time to image the samples and provides an efficient and organized way to archive the virtual microscopy slides for future consultations, record-keeping and disease comparison.