Main Article Content
Although the development of telepathology has made pathological diagnosis possible even in regions lacking pathologists, the information on the current evaluation and necessity of telepathology of intraoperative rapid diagnosis in Japan is insufficient. Thus, we compared and evaluated them based on previous studies.
We used the following items for evaluation: clinical needs, cost, training, targeted diseases, accuracy, time, diagnostic concerns, and equipment and system concerns. PubMed and Google Scholar were used to search previous articles using the following keywords [Japan], [telepathology], [intraoperative frozen section], [intraoperative rapid diagnosis], [pathologist shortage], [online training], and [AI].
Findings and Solution
Telepathology has been reported to be superior in terms of accuracy and time required, but it is not yet widespread in Japan. Concerns about implementing telepathology included increased workload for pathologists, specimen quality, and facilities' costs and safety. Reducing the workload of diagnosis by actively introducing artificial intelligence (AI) or enabling collaboration and communication among hospitals and facilities would help solve these issues. Since the investment in facilities is often costly, it is important to use AI and remote consultation following the characteristics of the patients in the region so that remote pathological diagnosis can be performed in any region of Japan, thereby improving the quality of medical care.
Telepathology has benefits for both the health care providers and patients, such as reducing the workload of pathologists and limiting the surgical range of the patient. The solutions from the evaluation of multiple aspects illustrated in this study can improve the quality of medical care in Japan and can also be applied overseas by promoting the introduction of remote pathological diagnosis accordance with the situations at each facility.
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