As Fast As Glass – Thoughts from CAP ’09

| October 15, 2009

Back from an excellent CAP meeting that was held in Washington, DC.  It was a bit of a homecoming for me – returning to DC for the first time in nearly 5 years after living and practicing there for almost 10.

As much as fan of tele-everything and distance communication as anyone, there is still high value in seeing former mentors, residents and colleagues.

One of the highlights for me was getting a chance to see Omnyx's viewer and some of its capability. 

The mantra in digital pathology with the advent of higher speed scanners and increased work flow functionality has been to make it "as fast as glass" if increased adoption is to become reality.

After watching pathologists' sit at their microscopes and visiting several laboratories worldwide to try to understand workload and work flow requirements, Omnyx showcased a demo of their viewer and work flow along with images derived from their scanner (scanner not on site). 

From a patient-centric work list, one pulls up a case and is presented with a slide overview inset into a large whole slide image we are all familiar with.  One added function is a slide tray silhouette that allows you a view of all slides for the patient to select from beyond the first slide.  After the slide you are viewing has been "seen", a keystroke allows you to pull up the slide tray and move onto the next slide.  If at any point you wish to review that slide again, the application brings you to the field and objective you last used for that slide. 

As an example, you may have 12 prostate biopsies in a tray for a single patient from multiple sites and with multiple levels.  The application presents every slide with appropriate site and level information as you view the entire tray.  If you want to compare a previous focus to a later slide, you have the ability to see the last field and power on that slide, analogous to what one does with glass slides. 

The slide overview provides the ability to rotate the image in 360-degree fashion to adjust the orientation of the tissue for viewing. This is not a function of the slide overview I have seen before and the image presented is in the new orientation regardless of the orientation of the tissue on the slide.

Dermatopathologists who require the "epidermis to be on top" (as it is in-vivo) and routinely adjust slides under the microscope to do this will like this function.

Lastly, the image quality was very good and presentation of the images within a selected patient was extremely fast and without any refreshing or latency, including moving between patients in a tabbed environment from the work list. 

Category: Conferences, Digital Pathology News, Vendor products, Whole slide

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