Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

IMPACT: integrating microscopy for pathology activities and computer technology

The project was set up to provide pathologists with the computer technology they repeatedly ask for with the purpose of: improving reliability of diagnostics and prognostics of cancers, sharing experience among the medical community so that a standard expertise will be available to all concerned (remote consultation), while increasing the quality (by built-in consistency controls).

The major achievement of the project was to turn the conventional microscope into a workstation which can be connected on a local area network (LAN) so that any decision made at the microscope is integrated in real time with the other clinical information available in the hospital files. Consistency can then be checked on line as well as microscope observation operational features. Medical quality thus relies on clear figures such as the proportion of the specimen actually observed, the number and meaning of marks used by the observer, the intra- and inter-observer reproducibility and the overall consistency between the microscopical findings and the clinical data. Such a microscope computerised workstation can also be connected on a wide area network (WAN) so that the observation of a specimen can be carried out by a remote expert actually driving the microscope from his place. Also, medical information created at the microscope level can contribute to transnational data bases and image reference banks expected to make possible large scale clinical studies.

The application software developments resulted in the specifications and software for 4 graphics and 4 image medical applications running on the IMPACT workstations and which are: cervical cancer screening-reviewing, morphometry, diagnostic assistance and self-training (for GRAPHICS systems); and histometry, ploïdy, immunomarkers and cytogenetics (for IMAGE systems). The project has directly resulted in 3 product lines which are now commercially available: a networked interactive computerised microscope; a networked computerised microscope for image processing; an integrated microscope telepathology workstation.

Reported by

Université Joseph Fourier
Domaine de la Merci
38706 La Tronche
France
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