Telepathology can provide frozen section service to hospitals without a pathology service of their own. Using a dynamic-robotic system with 6 ISDN B-channels (Telemed A200, AM Elektronikk A/S, Oslo, Norway), the pathologists at the University Hospital in Trondheim, Norway during a three-year period from 1995 successfully performed 116 diagnostic sessions for two rural Norwegian hospitals. In 90% of the cases a diagnosis was provided. There was no false positive diagnosis and only 3% false negative cases without clinical consequence. Deferred cases (10%) were mainly due to poor quality of the frozen sections and a conservative attitude among the pathologists. It is concluded that the diagnostic accuracy is good, but for safety reasons telepathology should be offered on a regular basis, so that the skills of the technicians and pathologists involved are kept up. In Mid-Norway, five more hospitals will be included in a telemedicine network comprising eight hospitals in the region.
Comment In: Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1999 Apr 10;119(9):133510327860