A Web-based cell imaging system means pathologists at 50 test sites can examine patient samples for breast cancer days before glass microscope slides arrive by mail. The technology was developed by US Labs in Irving, Calif. and employs an image analysis tool from BioImagene in San Jose, which provides an electronic, objective reading of slides that may be interpreted differently by experts. However, human eyes sometimes read more accurately than electronic ones, and pathologists still check the actual slides to make the diagnosis, as comprehensive studies have not yet been done to compare the accuracy of diagnoses made using the “virtual microscope” versus those using glass slides. The technology is currently being tested across the country.
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