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Darren Treanor Virtual Reality Powerwall

The Pathological Society granted open scheme funding to the University of Leeds to investigate the use of virtual reality in viewing digital pathology slides. We used this funding to evaluate a virtual reality powerwall which was demonstrated at the Summer meeting in Leeds recently.
 
From our previous experiments on the user interface of virtual slides, we found that a conventional personal computer and mouse setup were inefficient compared to a conventional microscope. A selection of tasks took over 60% longer with the virtual slide than the conventional microscope (Oral presentation, Pathological Society, Glasgow, July 2007). This would have serious implications for the uptake of virtual slide technologies in clinical practice.
 
We collaborated with virtual reality scientists to develop a prototype system for viewing virtual slides. We used a virtual reality system called a powerwall. This is a 7 by 4 array of 20 inch LCD screens measuring 3.5 x 1.5m in size. It is controlled by a wireless gamepad controller to interact with virtual slides. (see figure left, a virtual slide of small blood vessels in mesenteric fat displayed on the powerwall). Although a projector could produce an image of equivalent size, only a powerwall can display a large image at high resolution because it is a 50 megapixel display.
 
Quote1We were pleased to find that the powerwall wasQuote2
as efficient as the conventional microscope
 
Open Scheme 01This system was directly compared with the conventional microscope in a controlled experiment with 8 pathologists during summer 2007. The experiment was run by a foundation year trainee in histopathology (Dr. Naomi Jordan-Owers). The results of the work were presented at the Pathological Society meeting in July 2008 in Leeds (“A Virtual Reality Powerwall Compared to the Conventional Light Microscope: Results of a Pilot Study”. D Treanor, N Jordan-Owers, J Hodrien, J Wood, R Ruddle, P Quirke).
 
We were pleased to find that the powerwall was as efficient as the conventional microscope, and the pathologists’ diagnostic confidence was equivalent with both interfaces. This pilot project will be used to lay the foundations for a grant application to further develop this idea.
 
Darren Treanor
 
 

3rd Central European Regional Meeting, Technology Transfer in Diagnostic Pathology, Breast Pathology

 
The Hungarian Division of the International Academy of Pathology organised this year, between 14-16 May, the 3rd Central European Regional Meeting in the series called “Technology Transfer in Diagnostic Pathology”. This year’s subject was Breast Pathology. Leading European breast pathologists, most of them members of the European Working Group for Breast Screening Pathology, were invited to the Faculty, but invited speakers came from the US and Australia as well. Amongst others, Dr. Clive Wells, chairman of the EWGBSP, Dr. Andrew Lee, leading breast pathologist from Nottingham, Dr. Catherine Chinyama from Guernsey, author of the successful breast pathology book: “Benign breast diseases”, Dr. Peter Simpson, well known for his research on molecular genetics of breast diseases and Professor Thomas Krausz, from University of Chicago came over to Visegrad, the beautifully situated medieval town overlooking the Danube bend.
 
The programme of the course was assembled so that the most important fields and/or developments in breast pathology were included. Problems and recent improvements of preoperative diagnostics, the key role of radio-pathological correlation, virtual slide technique and its use in various fields, familial breast cancer and recent achievements in the unders tanding of the molecular genetic basis of breast carcinoma were presented. Three slide seminars were included in the programme: The problems of mesenchymal and fibroepithelial breast lesions were discussed by Thomas Krausz from Chicago University and Zsolt Orosz from the National Oncology Institute in Budapest. Diagnostic and differential diagnostic problems of benign breast diseases were presented by Catherine Chinyama. Members of the EWGBSP presented unusual, interesting or difficult cases.
 
The digital slides of the presented cases together with the case descriptions are available at here.
 
Dr Janina Kulka,
Course Director
 
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