Telepathology overview: From concept to implementation

Ronald S. Weinstein, Michael R. Descour, Chen Liang, Achyut K. Bhattacharyya, Anna R. Graham, John R. Davis, Katherine M. Scott, Lynne Richter, Elizabeth A. Krupinski, Janusz Szymus, Klaus Kayser, Bruce E. Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations


Telepathology is the practice of pathology at a distance by using video imaging and telecommunications. Significant progress has been made in telepathology. To date, 12 classes of telepathology systems have been engineered. Rapid and ultrarapid virtual slide processors may further expand the range of telepathology applications. Next-generation digital imaging light microscopes, such as miniaturized microscope arrays (MMA), may make virtual slide processing a routine laboratory tool. Diagnostic accuracy of telepathology is comparable with that of conventional light microscopy for most diagnoses. Current telepathology applications include intraoperative frozen sections services, routine surgical pathology services, second opinions, and subspecialty consultations. Three telepathology practice models are discussed: the subspecialty practice (SSP) model; the case triage practice (CTP) model; and the virtual group practice (VGP) model. Human factors influence performance with telepathology. Experience with 500 telepathology cases from multiple organs significantly reduces the video viewing time per case (P < .01). Many technology innovations can be represented as S-curves. After long incubation periods, technology use and/or efficiency may accelerate. Telepathology appears to be following an S-curve for a technical innovation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1283-1299
Number of pages17
JournalHuman pathology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001


  • Innovation
  • Practice models
  • Telemedicine
  • Telepathology
  • Virtual slides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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