Digital pathology incorporates the acquisition, management, sharing and interpretation of pathology information — including slides and data — in a digital environment. Digital slides are created when glass slides are captured with a scanning device, to provide a high-resolution digital image that can be viewed on a computer screen or mobile device.
Figure 1: Evolution of Digital Pathology over time.
Utilizing high-throughput, automated digital pathology scanners, it is possible to capture an entire glass slide, under brightfield or fluorescent conditions, at a magnification comparable to a microscope. Digital slides can be shared over networks using specialized digital pathology software applications. Automated image analysis tools can also be applied to assist in the interpretation and quantification of biomarker expression within tissue sections.
The history of digital pathology goes back over 100 years, when specialized equipment was first used to capture images from a microscope onto photographic plates. The concept of telepathology — transmitting microscope images between remote locations — has been around for nearly 50 years. However it is in the past decade that pathology has begun to undergo a true digital transformation, moving away from analog into an electronic environment. The rapid progress of whole slide imaging (WSI) technology, along with advances in software applications,