This paper reports a fundamentally new concept for internet-based telemicroscopy. By separating a telemicroscopy application into three tasks - microscope control program, external server, and client application - it is possible to establish a telemicroscopy session between two arbitrary end points on the Internet even if both of the end points are secured by firewall (microscope and client application). The advantages of such a distributed system, compared with the classical point-to-point systems, are discussed. The telemicroscopy system is combined with a telepathology database, which is capable of automatically recording telemicroscopy sessions, allowing a convenient combination of interactive remote microscopy and store and forward telepathology. In addition to remote primary diagnosis, it is easily possible to discuss difficult cases within dedicated user groups, no matter whether images originate from a telemicroscopy session, or are manually entered into the database.
Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.