Analysis of JPEG compression on communications in a telepathology system

Yuan Pin Yu, Ralph Martinez, Elizabeth Krupinski, Ronald Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper presents a performance evaluation of a digital telepathology system. In telepathology, 5everal operations are involved in displaying source images from a remote microscope on the screen of a local workstation. At the remote site, images from a microscope are acquired by a camera and frame grabber, compressed, stored, and transferred to the local site. At the local site they are stored, decompressed, displayed, and diagnosed by collaborating pathologists. In this paper, we present the evaluation of a Roche Imaging Systems telepathology workstation. During tests, microscope magnification, camera resolution, color quality, quantization factors of JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group) compression, and transmission speed of the communication network were changed. The time of each operation and the size of compressed images were recorded. Analysis of the operation time and image size delineated the characteristics and bottlenecks of operating a digital telepathology system. The results show that higher microscope magnification, lower camera resolution, lower color quality, higher quantization factor, or higher transmission speed decrease the overall operation time. Meanwhile, higher magnification, higher camera resolution, lower color quality, or higher quantization factor result in more compression. When the compressed images are transferred via an 14.4 Kbps modem, the transmission time is the main portion of the overall operation time. In tests using a 1O-Mbps Ethernet, the average transmission speed of 670 Kbps was achieved and the compression and decompression times are the bottleneck of the overall operation time. Future improvements of this system include the ROC (Receiver Operating Characteristic) study on the compressed images, increasing the compression/decompression speed, and developing an expert system to help pathologists select the settings of microscope magnification, camera resolution, color quality, and quantization factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-294
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - May 15 1994
EventMedical Imaging 1994: PACS: Design and Evaluation - Newport Beach, United States
Duration: Feb 13 1994Feb 18 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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