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Article Published on 7.12.2021, 16:11

Slide scanner converts traditional slides into digital format

  • Husari
  • HUS Diagnostic Center
  • patology

In June, the Hyvinkää pathology laboratory of the Diagnostic Center introduced a slide scanner to convert traditional pathological slides into digital format.

Osastoylilääkäri Tuomas Mirtti käyttää patologian lasiskanneria

Chief Physician Tuomas Mirtti using a slide scanner.

The slide scanner is used to digitise pathological slides, which can then be viewed on a computer screen instead of the traditional microscope. Tuomas Mirtti is showing the scanner in Meilahti where it has been in use since 2019.

A slide scanner is an automated microscope, which captures a systematic series of images of the slide. The individual images are then collated into a single image with the help of image processing, and examined on the computer.

“Digitalisation of slides speeds up the examination of a sample, allows more detailed measurements and analyses of the sample and facilitates demonstration of findings in clinical-pathological meetings, for example”, says Chief Physician Taneli Tani from the Hyvinkää Hospital laboratory.

In a digital world, consultations between pathologists become independent of time and place. Tools are already available for examining digital slides and tissue-based assays, and in the future, AI-based programs will become important diagnostic tools. 

Quality requirements increase

This also facilitates and speeds up the work in a pathology office. Digitised sample material can be connected to a pathology meeting’s patient list in an information system in a fraction of time previously used for collecting slides.

Digitalisation changes how information obtained from patient samples is processed and stored. Majority of the examination process in a pathology laboratory stays the same, however, and digitalisation will actually set stricter quality requirements than before. Macroscopic examination of a sample, selection of biopsies and processing to a histological preparation will remain demanding work done mostly by hand, which creates a foundation for utilising samples in a digital world.

HUS Diagnostic Center is progressing gradually towards complete digitalisation. The Hyvinkää laboratory was a pilot for the digitalisation project of pathology. 

“At the end of the year, the project will expand to the Kymenlaakso laboratory, and in the next few years, we will increase the scanner capacity in Meilahti. The operation will also expand to Jorvi”, says Chief Physician Tuomas Mirtti from the pathology unit in Meilahti. 

The final aim is to have a uniform operating model in all pathology units of the Diagnostic Center. 



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