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Definition - What does Telepathology mean?

Telepathology is the practice of the science of pathology at a distance or remotely. It is an area of telemedicine that is done through the use of different telecommunications technologies in order to distribute data such as image-rich pathology data and medical reports to different locations and colleagues for remote study and to reach a diagnosis of the disease.

Techopedia explains Telepathology

Telepathology is the practice of medical diagnosis through the use of digital transmission of pathological data. Recent advances in telecommunications technology and the Internet have made it easier and faster to share medical data among colleagues in different geographical locations. The actual medical procedure such as a biopsy can be done in one location and then the samples are cut, magnified, scanned and then sent digitally to remote colleagues. It can even be done in real time during an operation in order to get an immediate diagnosis.

Categories of telepathology include:

  • Static image-based system — As the name suggests, this system relies heavily on images taken by special medical equipment that can magnify the specimen or provide other types of medical images such as X-rays and CT scans.
  • Virtual-slide system — This system allows pathology specimen slides to be scanned; the resulting high-definition images are then transmitted.
  • Real-time system — This system allows medical instruments or equipment, for example, a robotically controlled microscope, to be controlled remotely by an operator, allowing him/her to adjust the device as if it were available locally.
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