We investigated the use of remote video microscopy (telepathology) to assist in the diagnosis of 52 neurosurgical frozen section cases. The TelMed system (Discovery Medical Systems, Overland Park, KS), in which the referring pathologist selects appropriate fields for transmission to the consultant, was used for the study. There was a high degree of concordance between the diagnosis rendered on the basis of transmitted video images and that rendered on the basis of direct evaluation of frozen sections; however, in seven cases there was substantial disagreement. Remote evaluation was associated with a more rapid consultation from the standpoint of the consultant, who spent approximately 2 minutes less per case when using remote microscopy; this was achieved at the expense of considerably greater effort on the part of the referring pathologist, who spent approximately 16 minutes per case selecting an average of 4.5 images for transmission to the consultant. The use of remote video microscopy for pathology consultation is associated with a complex series of tradeoffs involving cost, information loss, and timeliness of consultation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine