Intra-hospital Use of a Telepathology System


Department of Pathology, Gülhane Medical Military Academy, Ankara, Turkey


Utilization of telepathology systems to cover distant geographical areas has increased recently. However, the potential usefulness of similar systems for closer distances does not seem to be widely appreciated. In this study, we present data on the use of a simple telepathology system connecting the pathology department and the intra-operative consultation room within the operating theaters of the hospital. Ninety-eight frozen section cases from a past period have been re-evaluated using a real-time setup. Forty-eight of the cases have been re-evaluated in the customary fashion; allowing both ends to communicate and cooperate freely. Fifty of the cases, however, were evaluated by the consultant while the operating room end behaved like a ''robot”; moving the stage of the microscope, changing and focusing the objectives. The deferral rate was lower than the original frozen section evaluations. Overall, the sensitivity was 100%, specificity 98%, negative predictive value 96,5% and positive predictive value 100%. No significant difference was found for the diagnostic performances between the cooperative and robotic simulation methods.Our results strengthen the belief that telepathology is a valuable tool in offering pathology services to remote areas. The far side of a hospital building can also be a remote area and a low cost system can be helpful for intraoperative consultations. Educational value of such a system is also commendable. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 6, Nr 3, 197-201, 2000

Key words: telepathology; frozen section

Received: Jan 19, 2000; accepted: Jun 21, 2000
Correspondence: Önder ÖNGÜRÜ, Department of Pathology, Gülhane Medical Military Academy, Etlik Ankara 06018, Turkey; Tel: (90) (312) 304-5975, Fax: (90) (312) 304-5978

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