Recently, augmented reality microscopy (ARM) has become available from Augmentiqs. The ARM augmented reality microscope enables real-time image analysis to be conducted using a traditional light microscope and glass slides which avoids the need to first photograph or digitize slides. Augmentiqs modifies the existing microscope by connecting a computer with a microscope-based unit inserted between the microscope’s objective lenses and eyepiece unit.
The Augmentiqs ARM system incorporates a built-in camera to capture high-quality images. The images acquired by this unit occur in real time and can be displayed on an attached computer monitor. In addition, if the end user looks through the eyepieces of the microscope, they can see computer-generated output, such as annotations, being projected as an overlay directly on the glass slide.
The Augmentiqs ARM microscopy system thus permits real-time image analysis to be performed on glass slides with the output of the algorithm superimposed on the slide, thereby generating a composite field of view (FOV) that can be used to supervise data collection. This can be used to perform simple measurements (eg, depth of tumor invasion) and, when coupled with image analysis software, to quantify immunohistochemical stains (eg, Ki-67 proliferation index) or it can be combined with more sophisticated deep learning algorithms (eg, to rapidly detect metastases in lymph nodes).
As opposed to the application of image analysis applied to whole-slide imaging (WSI), ARM microscopy is quicker to use, provides for the real-time and seamless integration of algorithms without the need to first acquire digital images, is cheaper than buying a whole-slide scanner, and does not require special technical skills to operate.
Based on calculation of direct equipment costs conducted at UPMC, the Augmentiqs ARM microscopy device is approximately 20 times less expensive than a high-capacity whole-slide scanner.
When pathologists look through the microscope eyepiece, they will see the same optical plane of the tissue with no degradation of light or optical quality. The augmented reality is well contrasted from the tissue, and can be easily turned off when toolsets are not required.
Augmentiqs is a microscope accessory and is not intended for any diagnostic purpose.
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