Telepathology is a specialized field of telemedicine. It is the practice of anatomical pathology at a distance between two or more distant facilities using a microscope (or a slide scanner), a telecommunications medium, and a workstation for the consulting pathologist. The aim of telepathology is to provide pathology services at a distance when there is no on-site pathologist.
Depending on whether the communication between the facilities occurs in real-time or delayedtime mode, telepathology is considered static or dynamic. Static telepathology consists in capturing, digitizing and transmitting images of a gross or microscopic specimen to a consulting pathologist, who can view them on a screen and interpret them. As for dynamic telepathology, it involves transmitting and viewing in real time histological images from a microscope located at a distant facility. A literature review revealed that both types are, with their advantages and drawbacks, useful in diagnosing, obtaining a second medical opinion or in teletraining.
In light of the analysis of the advantages and drawbacks of telepathology, both static and dynamic, and of their applications, it emerges that the virtual slide offers the best solutions to most of the problems associated with distance and the lack of pathologists at remote hospitals and constitutes the best compromise.