Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
Home About us Instructions Submission Subscribe Advertise Contact e-Alerts Ahead Of Print Login 
Users Online: 3031
Print this page  Email this page Bookmark this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size

  Table of Contents    
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 306-307
Virtual digital pathology: The future is near

1 Department of Oral Pathology, I.T.S. Dental College, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, School of Dental Sciences, Sharda University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication19-Jun-2017

How to cite this article:
Juneja S, Juneja M. Virtual digital pathology: The future is near. Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2017;60:306-7

How to cite this URL:
Juneja S, Juneja M. Virtual digital pathology: The future is near. Indian J Pathol Microbiol [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 May 22];60:306-7. Available from: https://www.ijpmonline.org/text.asp?2017/60/2/306/208386


Learning of basic and oral histology and pathology is an important part of education in an undergraduate dental student's curriculum not only in India but also worldwide. The teaching of basic oral histology, oral pathology is rendered through the conventional methodology of lectures and tutorials. The practical classes involve studying the tissue specimen through routine glass slides mounted with coverslips using light microscopes.

With the emergence of advanced technology, the superiority of the light microscope as a teaching modality is being critically reviewed. Although the use of conventional light microscopes is technically least challenging, it has been disliked by the students due to lack of quality and consistency of its use which is both time consuming as well as tiring for the eyes. Even pathologists find its limitation in reproducing the same field repeatedly over and over again. Virtual digital microscopy could be a promising solution for such limitations of routine conventional microscopy though presenting with its own technical challenges.[1]

Szymas and Lundin have stated distinct advantage and acceptance of virtual microscopy to study basic and oral pathology among students with significant improvement in understanding of the subject. They linked digitized slides with macroscopic, microscopic, and clinical images to serve as study material, with ease of handling and dissemination during practical classes.[2] Chen et al. have also reported advantages of digital virtual pathology in improving education of oral pathology slides. It also allows for easy revision by the students after the class. The setting up of a virtual online server allows for constructive views, reviews, opinions, comments, and discussions for each case. Virtual microscopy can also serve as basis for telepathology services and consultations by distant pathologists.[3]

Fonseca et al. reported an improvement in the practical classes of oral pathology with a much higher interaction with the students during the class. The simplicity of the software, the high quality of the virtual slides, requiring a smaller time to identify microscopic structures, were considered important for a better teaching process.[4]

Virtual microscopy has clear advantages; however, a few barriers limit it is easy and early transition in dental education in India. The possible barriers include high initial set-up costs, infrastructure (including computer hardware, software, and high-speed internet), data management and storage, and ease of accessibility by users. One probable barrier could be acceptance of virtual microscopy by experienced pathologists who are used to observing tissues through glass slides over the years.[5]

With an eye on future of dental education in India, digital pathology with virtual microscopy is definitely the need of the hour for improvement in teaching standards and efficient student learning experiences and should replace conventional methods of learning and teaching oral pathology.

   References Top

Farah CS, Maybury T. Implementing digital technology to enhance student learning of pathology. Eur J Dent Educ 2009;13:172-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
Szymas J, Lundin M. Five years of experience teaching pathology to dental students using the WebMicroscope. Diagn Pathol 2011;6 Suppl 1:S13.  Back to cited text no. 2
Chen YK, Hsue SS, Lin DC, Wang WC, Chen JY, Lin CC, et al. An application of virtual microscopy in the teaching of an oral and maxillofacial pathology laboratory course. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 2008;105:342-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
Fonseca FP, Santos-Silva AR, Lopes MA, Almeida OP, Vargas PA. Transition from glass to digital slide microscopy in the teaching of oral pathology in a Brazilian dental school. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal 2015;20:e17-22.  Back to cited text no. 4
Ghaznavi F, Madabhushi A, Evans A, Feldman M. Digital imaging in pathology: Whole-slide imaging and beyond. Annu Rev Pathol Mech Dis 2013;8:331-59.  Back to cited text no. 5

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh Juneja
Department of Oral Pathology, I.T.S. Dental College, Ghaziabad - 201 206, Uttar Pradesh
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPM.IJPM_324_16

Rights and Permissions

This article has been cited by
1 Overcoming Barriers in a Traditional Medical Education System by the Stepwise, Evidence-Based Introduction of a Modern Learning Technology
Doris George Yohannan,Aswathy Maria Oommen,Kannanvilakom Govindapillai Umesan,Vandana Latha Raveendran,Latha Sreedhar Lakshmi Sreedhar,Thekkumkara Surendran Nair Anish,Michael Hortsch,Renuka Krishnapillai
Medical Science Educator. 2019; 29(3): 803
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 The Use of Screencasts with Embedded Whole-Slide Scans and Hyperlinks to Teach Anatomic Pathology in a Supervised Digital Environment
Mary Wong, Joseph Frye, Stacey Kim, Alberto M. Marchevsky
Journal of Pathology Informatics. 2018; 9(1): 39
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  


 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded160    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 2    

Recommend this journal