Remote Evaluation of Short Videos Captured by Static Telecytological Applications for Obtaining Expert Opinions

Remote Evaluation of Short Videos Captured by Static Telecytological Applications for Obtaining Expert Opinions

Stavros K. Archondakis (General Military Hospital of Athens, Greece)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJRQEH.2020070104

Abstract

Over the last decade, cytopathology laboratories wishing to achieve an automated and seamless workflow process, to diminish turnaround times and to improve their diagnostic accuracy have successfully adopted information technologies and automation. New types of cameras and microscopes, connected to computers, have made possible image capture and transmission (telecytology). New innovative information technologies, including e-health and telemedical applications, constitute a valuable tool for interlaboratory collaboration and quality improvement. New applications are expected to enhance the opportunities for improvement in the field of cytological data management and sharing. In this article, we emphasize on the possible use of short videos captured by static telecytology applications in a modern cytopathology laboratory wishing to establish an effective interlaboratory comparison system and obtain expert opinions in diagnostically challenging cases from distant consultants with well recognized diagnostic competence and experience in the field of thyroid cytology.
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Background

Cytopathology laboratory’s quality assessment is achieved by continuous monitoring of specific indicators, such as turnaround times, interobserver or intraobserver diagnostic reproducibility, and concordance between histological and cytological diagnosis (Archondakis et al., 2009).

The agreement is the total or the proportional number of cases that were given the same diagnosis between or within observers, including the part of the agreement that may be attributed to chance (Archondakis et al., 2009; Lin, 2018).

Reproducibility is the part of the agreement that cannot be explained purely by chance. The κ statistic measures reproducibility. It is estimated that k values higher than 0.80 indicate almost perfect agreement, while κ values of 0.61–0.80 indicate substantial agreement (Archondakis et al., 2009; Lin, 2018). In our study, the intraobserver κ mean value was 0.81 (almost perfect). As long as the number of mistakes committed during specimen collection, preparation, and diagnostic interpretation diminishes, all monitored quality assessors continue to improve, and vice versa (Archondakis et al., 2009; Lin, 2018). The practice of diagnostic cytology performed on digital images is a novel process that can be used for obtaining expert opinions on severecases from remote laboratories (telecytology) (Archondakis et al., 2009; Brooker et al., 2019). Telecytological diagnosis can be achieved either with the use of cytological pictures viewed in real-time from the microscope (dynamic telecytological systems) or with the use of cytological images that are first captured in a digital format and then transmitted to distant observers (static telecytological systems) (Archondakis et al., 2009; Stamataki et al., 2008). As a result, many studies have focused on the possible role of telecytology as a tool of diagnosis and consultation in the everyday workflow (Archondakis et al., 2009; Brooker et al., 2019).

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