Whole Slide Imaging: Technology and Applications

Adv Anat Pathol. 2020 Jul;27(4):251-259. doi: 10.1097/PAP.0000000000000273.


Pathology has benefited from advanced innovation with novel technology to implement a digital solution. Whole slide imaging is a disruptive technology where glass slides are scanned to produce digital images. There have been significant advances in whole slide scanning hardware and software that have allowed for ready access of whole slide images. The digital images, or whole slide images, can be viewed comparable to glass slides in a microscope, as digital files. Whole slide imaging has increased in adoption among pathologists, pathology departments, and scientists for clinical, educational, and research initiatives. Worldwide usage of whole slide imaging has grown significantly. Pathology regulatory organizations (ie, College of American Pathologists) have put forth guidelines for clinical validation, and the US Food and Drug Administration have also approved whole slide imaging for primary diagnosis. This article will review the digital pathology ecosystem and discuss clinical and nonclinical applications of its use.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted* / instrumentation
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted* / methods
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted* / trends
  • Pathology, Clinical* / instrumentation
  • Pathology, Clinical* / methods
  • Pathology, Clinical* / trends
  • Telepathology* / instrumentation
  • Telepathology* / methods
  • Telepathology* / trends