A virtual atlas of breast histopathology: An application of web based virtual microscopy

Researchers at the universities of Helsinki and Tampere (Finland) have developed a new virtual microscopy system, which allows users digitize entire microscope glass slide specimens, and then create a virtual slide with the quality and resolution similar to the original glass slide viewed on a microscope. The results are high-resolution digital images viewable through a standard web browser, independent of a microscope.

The slide scanning microscope and an image web server developed were used for the generation of “a virtual atlas of breast histopathology”, which is a virtual slide collection of over 150 microscope specimens covering the diagnostic entities described in pathology literature. The atlas is freely viewable at http://www.webmicroscope.net/breastatlas with a standard PC computer.

According to the researchers virtual microscopy is ideal for universities and colleges, teaching hospitals, medical, dental and veterinary schools, and is also useful for clinical and research applications. Pathologists world-wide can access image servers containing virtual slides of extremely rare histopathologic entities which are otherwise. Virtual microscopy is currently applied in Finland in the quality control of microscopic diagnostics in clinical cytology and hematology laboratories.

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