Review of Telemicrobiology
Published Date:Aug 28 2015
Source:Arch Pathol Lab Med. 140(4):362-370.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4808477
Funding:CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
Microbiology laboratories are continually pursuing means to improve quality, rapidity, and efficiency of specimen analysis in the face of limited resources. One means by which to achieve these improvements is through the remote analysis of digital images. Telemicrobiology enables the remote interpretation of images of microbiology specimens. To date, the practice of clinical telemicrobiology has not been thoroughly reviewed.
Identify the various methods that can be employed for telemicrobiology, including emerging technologies that may provide value to the clinical laboratory.
Peer-reviewed literature, conference proceedings, meeting presentations, and expert opinions pertaining to telemicrobiology have been evaluated.
A number of modalities have been employed for telemicroscopy including static capture techniques, whole slide imaging, video telemicroscopy, mobile devices, and hybrid systems. Telemicrobiology has been successfully implemented for applications including routine primary diagnois, expert teleconsultation, and proficiency testing. Emerging areas include digital culture plate reading, mobile health applications and computer-augmented analysis of digital images.
Static image capture techniques to date have been the most widely used modality for telemicrobiology, despite the fact that other newer technologies are available and may produce better quality interpretations. Increased adoption of telemicrobiology offers added value, quality, and efficiency to the clinical microbiology laboratory.
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