REVIEW – October 2020

Implementation and future perspectives of digital pathology: a literature review

Authors: Mihhail Vassiljev, Villem Krispin, Kristjan Kiiman, Nadezhda Turaeva, Tatjana Matvejeva, Katrin Lepik, Lea Mällo

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During the last 20 years, digital pathology has emerged as a complementary field to the traditional microscopy approach in pathology. Whole slide imaging, i.e. the process of digitalizing a glass tissue slide, is the catalyst for rapid progression of digital pathology as it creates a large amount of digital tissue data, which can be used as datasets by machine learning and deep learning algorithms. The popularity of the subject is reflected in the considerable increase in research papers of recent years, which focus on different aspects of digital pathology. This technology has already been adopted in clinical practice by automating routine tasks in pathologists’ workflow, such as assessment of tumour markers. Some of the possibilities for the future of digital pathology include virtual tissue staining, integrating tissue morphology with molecular diagnostics and three-dimensional tissue imaging.