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Integrating Microscopy for Pathology Activities and Computer Technology


The IMPACT Project aims to provide the pathologists with the computer technology they repeatedly asked for: (i) improving reliability and cost effectiveness of diagnostic and prognostic activities, (ii) sharing experience among the medical community so that a standard expertise will be available to all concerned, (iii) increasing the quality given the inherent difficulty of decision making at the microscope. This IMPACT Project specifically addresses the integration of computer technologies into the medical investigations performed at the micros-cope in the pathology laboratories (Cytopathology, Histopathology, Cytogenetics).
The integrating microscopy for pathology activities and computer techn (IMPACT) project addresses the integration of computer technologies into the med investigations performed at the microscope in the pathology laboratories (cytop histopathology, cytogenetics).

Selection, compilation and distribution of pluri knowledge has been carried out. This represented the common reference for the pa facilitated all further interaction within the consortium. The work done so far comprehensive reviews of: information processing in pathology laboratories (inpu sharing, dispatching etc), medical language in pathology, conventional use of mi expert systems, use of quantitative information as a recent complement to subjec prognostic activities.

The hardware and basic software developments achieved so in:
the construction of 12 exemplars of the IMPACT-GRAPHICS workstation prototyp available to the medical partners for validation, evaluation and final certifica of 3 exemplars of the IMPACT-IMAGE workstation prototype now distributed among t biomedical engineering partners for software development.

The application softw developments already achieved resulted in the specifications and software protot and 4 image medical applications running on the IMPACT workstations. These are: screening reviewing, morphometry, diagnostic assistance and self training (for G systems); and histometry, ploidy; immunomarkers and cytogenetics (for IMAGE syst the medical validation of the hardware and software prototypes of the GRAPHICS s provided the developers with real time testing of their achievements so far this very positive.

The format designed in the IMPACT project to report medical data proposed as standards.
More specifically, the project takes advantage of now available computer technologies that have not been combined yet for operational purposes in pathology, with the following objectives for the first year: (i) mixing of computer monitor and microscope optical images thus transforming the microscope into a workstation, (ii) processing high resolution microscope images to interactively extract pertinent medical information from specimens, (iii) networking the microscope workstations and connecting to the computerised environment of the pathology laboratory. These objectives have been reached during the first year period.

Impact on Standards

The IMPACT Project actually introduces new concepts, not only about computer based systems, but also in the field of pathology to which these systems apply. As of today, the way to report densitometric data (on ploïdy and immuno-markers such as hormonal receptors and proliferative markers) AND the way to report morphometric data (on nerve, bone, gut and muscles biopsies) as a support to differential diagnoses are not yet standardised. What are the parameters to provide the clinicians with? How to get them in a fully reproducible way? How to present them (histogram, scattergram, reference)? This standardisation is a prerequisite for designing the corresponding dedicated software of the Microscope Workstations which provide such results on a routine basis. The format designed in the IMPACT project to report medical data will be proposed as standards. Acceptation of the standards proposed by the IMPACT project, and establishment of medical consensus among pathologists, are being achieved through several parallel procedures listed below:

- by presentations and discussions among the international medical community;
- through tutorials organised in the framework of the European COMETT II programme;
- by close cooperation with the European BCR (Bureau Communautaire des Références), through the PRESS project on standardisation;
- by using the international journal "Analytical Cellular Pathology" whose Editor-in-Chief is the Coordinator of the IMPACT Project;
- by the industrialisation and commercialisation of the microscope graphics and image workstations which will have the built-in standards and represent one of the major outcomes of the IMPACT Project thus forcing the later coming competitors to deal with protocols and procedures medically validated by the users of the IMPACT workstations world-wide;
- by acceptance among the European Concerted Actions in the field.


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Université de Grenoble I (Université Joseph Fourier)
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38041 Grenoble

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Participants (6)