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Advantages and Disadvantages of Robotic Telepathology vs. Routine Microscopic pathology The Experience Between the Richmond and Beckley VA Medical Centers.

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Presentation on theme: "Advantages and Disadvantages of Robotic Telepathology vs. Routine Microscopic pathology The Experience Between the Richmond and Beckley VA Medical Centers."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Advantages and Disadvantages of Robotic Telepathology vs. Routine Microscopic pathology The Experience Between the Richmond and Beckley VA Medical Centers Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Richmond, Virginia

3 Introduction  The VISN 6 Veterans Administration hospitals comprise eight hospitals. Three of these hospitals are primary care hospitals where minor surgery takes place.  The size of the smaller hospitals does not justify a full time pathologist. Therefore, robotic telepathology was considered as the solution for one of the hospitals, located in Beckley, West Virginia.  Beckley VAMC is supported by the larger tertiary-care facility located 250 miles away in Richmond Virginia.

4 Common Types of Telepathology  Dynamic or Robotic Telepathology (image is transmitted instantly, operator can select fields render diagnosis immediately.  Digitizing Entire Slide.  Static or Capture image digitally and Transmit Forward via electronic lines or other telecommunication media.

5 Dynamic Robotic Telepathology  Operator can view entire slide from a remote site.  Operator can select fields for digital image capture.  Operator can communicate with transmitter simultaneously to viewing.

6 Robotic Image Receiving Station at the Richmond VAMC

7 Transmitting Station at Beckley VAMC

8 Close-up of Transmitting Station

9 Telepathology Vs Routine Microscopy Setup Time TelepathologyRoutine Minutes NA AV Time per Slide TelepathologyRoutine /- 2.6 SD Minutes 15+/- 11SD Seconds

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11 Strategies Adopted in Our System  Because of the length of time required per slide, only small biopsies are analyzed by telepathology.  Viewing large sections of tissue by telepathology is impractical and, therefore, performed at the larger facility.  All slides are reviewed the next day upon receipt of slides by mail.  All major specimens and special stains are processed and viewed by routine microscopy at the larger facility

12 Costs Associated with Robotic Telepathology Telepathology Hardware $169,344 Purchase cost Maintenance$15,000 Yearly ISDN line cost $8,000 Yearly Slid ing Costs $1,400

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15 Advantages  Robotic telepathology is a viable alternative to an on site pathologist.  It allows acceptable turnaround time for surgical pathology diagnosis. Meets CAP requirements.  It supplies a small hospital with surgical pathology consultation from five pathologists, which would otherwise not be accessible to a small facility.

16 Disadvantages  The system is 12 fold slower to routine microscopy.  Screen image is not as optimal as direct view.  Repeated line and equipment down-time hinders workflow.

17 The End


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