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Outside the Lab Digital and computational pathology, Microscopy and imaging, Profession, Training and education

Real-Time Vision

Digital technology is revolutionizing microscopy for pathologists (1). Now we can capture optical images electronically and display them in their digital format directly on a PC monitor. And, because the image is projected onto a screen, there is no need for complicated optics otherwise necessary for direct human eye observation. Although based initially on commercially available microscopes coupled to video cameras and monitors, rapid technological evolution is enabling manufacturers to deliver sophisticated systems with faster real-time digital image reconstructions as well as whole slide scanning. And the cost of these new devices is becoming more attractive to hospital pathology departments, so naturally, use of them is increasing.

I have no doubt that for case discussions and residents’ sign-outs, pathology departments worldwide will soon replace their traditional multi-head microscopes with video microscopy, which will not only help with training, but will also rise in importance at multidisciplinary meetings and conferences, in particular when used with large, high-definition screens. The direct, live image feed from the glass slide on the microscope makes these meetings more interesting and proactive. Not only that, but they allow a more accurate representation of the work of the pathologists, so I see PowerPoint slides being redundant during these multi-team meetings too.

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About the Author

Pedro Oliveira

Pedro Oliveira is Pathologist at Hospital da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal.

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