A European network for virtual microscopy--design, implementation and evaluation of performance.
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SourceVirchows Archiv, 454, 4, (2009), pp. 421-429
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectIGMD 1: Functional imaging; NCMLS 6: Genetics and epigenetic pathways of disease; ONCOL 1: Hereditary cancer and cancer-related syndromes; ONCOL 2: Age-related aspects of cancer; ONCOL 3: Translational research
Web-based virtual microscopy has enabled new applications within pathology. Here, we introduce and evaluate a network of academic servers, designed to maximize image accessibility to users from all regions of Europe. Whole-slide imaging was utilized to digitize the entire slide set (n = 154) for the slide seminars of the 21st European Congress of Pathology. The virtual slides were mirrored to five academic servers across Europe using a novel propagation method. Functionality was implemented that automatically selects the fastest server connection in order to optimize the slide-viewing speed ( http://www.webmicroscope.net/ECP2007). Results show that during 6 months of monitoring the uptime of the network was 100%. The average viewing speed with the network was 3.1 Mbit/s, as compared to 1.9 Mbit/s using single servers. A good viewing speed (>2Mbit/s) was observed in 32 of 37 countries (86%), compared to 25 of 37 (68%) using single servers. Our study shows that implementing a virtual microscopy network spanning a large geographical area is technically feasible. By utilizing existing academic networks and cost-minimizing image compression, it is also economically feasible.
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