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J Telemed Telecare. 2004;10(2):99-103.

Teleconsultation in diagnostic pathology: experience from Iran and Germany with the use of two European telepathology servers.

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Afzalipoor Hospital, Pathology Department, University Kerman, Kerman, Iran.


Eighty pathology cases were sent independently to each of two telepathology servers. Cases were submitted from the Department of Pathology at the University of Kerman in Iran (40 cases) and from the Institute of Pathology in Berlin, Germany (40 cases). The telepathology servers were located in Berlin (the UICC server) and Basel in Switzerland (the iPATH server). A scoring system was developed to quantify the differences between the diagnoses of the referring pathologist and the remote expert. Preparation of the cases, as well as the submission of images, took considerably longer from Kerman than from Berlin; this was independent of the server system. The Kerman delay was mainly associated with a slower transmission rate and longer image preparation. The diagnostic gap between referrers' and experts' diagnoses was greater with the iPATH system, but not significantly so. The experts' response time was considerably shorter for the iPATH system. The results showed that telepathology is feasible for requesting pathologists working in a developing country or in an industrialized country. The key factor in the quality of the service is the work of the experts: they should be selected according to their diagnostic expertise, and their commitment to the provision of telepathology services is critical.

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