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Analytical Cellular Pathology
Volume 21 (2000), Issue 3-4, Pages 107-126

Technical Aspects of Telepathology with Emphasis on Future Development

P. Schwarzmann, B. Binder, and R. Klose

Institute of Physical Electronics, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pathology undergoes presently changes due to new developments in diagnostic opportunities and cost saving efforts in health care. Out of the wide field of telepathology the paper selects three prototype applications: telepathology in teleeducation, expert advice for preselected details of a slide and finally telepathology for remote diagnosis. The most challenging field for remote diagnosis is the application in the frozen section scenario. The paper starts with the mental experiment to map conventional procedures to counterparts in telepathology.

Technical opportunities and economical restrictions of telepathology equipment are discussed with respect to the components: electronic camera, display devices, haptic sensors and displays, available telecommunication channels and telepathology software.

As an example and for illustration of the state of the art for an advanced telemicroscopy system able to perform remote frozen section diagnosis, the HISTKOM equipment is presented in more details.

The section concerning future developments regards the aspects of the acceptance by tentative users, legal aspects, costs and affordability of equipment, the market for equipment components and the adequate telecommunication services. Further is regarded the mutual influence of properties of existing systems and application experiences gained with them on the next generation of equipment and application software. Conclusions and references close the paper.