Typical Use Cases

  • Education: Digital histology course in the lecture hall using monitors, self training of students from home over internet
  • Continuing Education: Digital training cases, EQS on virtual slides over internet
  • Teleconsultation: Second opinion over internet, telepathology
  • Tumour centres: Virtual slides on tumour conferences using a projector
  • Archiving: Digital case archive, collection of rare cases
  • Research: TMA diagnosing, quantitative analysis, distributed working

Benefits of Virtual Microscopy

  • Long-term archiving of important or rare tissue probes without loss of quality
  • Concurrent visualisation of slides by several users, even from different locations over internet 
  • Digital slides are ready for teleconsultation over internet immediately
  • Through the digitalisation, several copies of a slide are available, which can be used differently 
  • Because the resolution of a virtual slide is known, distances, areas and so on can be measured directly
  • Snapshots can be saved for use in the medical report or in presentations

Difference to Telemicroscopy

The term Virtual Microscopy is often mixed with telemicroscopy, telepathology and robotic microscopy. But those technologies have basic differences.

In telemicroscopy, whose most typical use case is telepathology, robotic microscopes are used. Such robotic microscope consists of a light microscope with attached camera and computer controlled scanning stage.
The camera image can now be transmitted live, and the microscope can be controlled remotely (change of objective lens, move, focus)

So the differences of this technology to virtual microscopy are:

Virtual Microscopy Telemicroscopy
Slides exist digitally Slides exist as glass slides, only their live image is being transmitted
Digital slides can be accessed anytime anywhere Before accessing, the glass slide has to be entered into the light microscope
No light microscope is needed for seeing the slides For seeing slides, you need a light microscope with camera