Mobile Whole Slide Imaging (mWSI): a low resource acquisition and transport technique for microscopic pathological specimens

The Open Mobile Telepathology System (OMT) is a combination of two components, the Pocket Electronic Health Record (pEHR) and the Mobile Whole Slide Imaging (mWSI) app. This system was created over the course of this study to help reduce the cost of telepathology in developing countries. The affordable system as described will help to expedite the diagnostic process in low-resource environments and provide more patients with better health outcomes. The OMT system offers a number of advantages to the standard Whole Slide Imaging machines. It can be deployed at a fraction of the cost, the images are more easily transportable at an average image size of less than 500 MBs and any worker, even someone without any knowledge of pathology, can perform the scans; also, components can be replaced and upgraded at a minimal cost, offering a large advantage to low resource and rural environments. The OMT system utilises a standard light microscope with a custom built 3D adaptor and the iPhone 5s. Acquired mWSIs can be transported through the cloud using the pEHR database and accessed through web and mobile platforms. Therefore it can be used in any part of the world with an Internet connection. The study follows the step-by-step process used to acquire mWSIs of various stains including H&E stains, and thin preps. The results of the tests have been found to be of a diagnostic quality and the imaging process as described has been optimised and standardised over the course of the 2-year study.

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