Components of a Virtual Microscopy solution

Slide Scanner

A slide scanner is the device for digitising histology slides. There are several different devices with different scan volumes (devices for one slide, 1 to 6 slides, or with slide loader for up to 300 slides automatically one after the other) and different functionality (standard slides, fluorescence filters, TMA slides, cytology slides and so on).

As alternative to an own slide scanner, you can also have glass slides scanned as a service.

Slide Scanner Pannoramic SCAN Slide Scanner from the company 3DHistech

Storage

For storing virtual slides it needs a storage solution. Biopsies would need about 400 MB on average, TMAs about 1 GB and ectomies about 1.6 GB. On average for all slides you can calculate with 1 GB per slide. One terabyte of storage gives you the space for about 1,000 slides.
You should also take into account redundancies (for example RAID system) and data security. We for example use external RAID systems on standard servers for solutions between 2 and 5 terabyte.

As alternative to an own storage, you can also have virtual slides hosted as a service.

Image Server

In case you wish to present virtual slides over an intranet or the internet, it needs a web server which hosts a slide streaming server software. The server side needs to be planned according to its usage volume (number of virtual slides, number of concurrent users, number of connected institutes, number of internet users, connection speed).

A simple solution would need just one server; more sophisticated projects would need at least three or more servers for assuring sufficient performance.

As alternative to an own server, you can also have virtual slides hosted as a service.

Internet connection

If you only want to use virtual microscopy on your own computer or over your local intranet, you of course don't need an internet connection. But where users shall access from the internet too (students, colleagues, ...) you need an own internet connection. That connection should be a permanent one (not “dial-in”) and provide a sufficient uplink.

As alternative to an own internet connection, you can also have virtual slides hosted as a service.

Software

For visualisation, administration and providing of virtual slides over networks it needs a virtual microscopy software. There are different solutions, according to the use case.

VM Slide Link View

VM Slide Link View Software

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