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Exciting experiences in the ‘Rocky road to digital diagnostics
  1. Rodolfo Montironi1,
  2. Alessia Cimadamore1,
  3. Antonio Lopez-Beltran2,
  4. Liang Cheng3,
  5. Marina Scarpelli1
  1. 1 Section of Pathological Anatomy, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy
  2. 2 Pathology and Surgery, Universidad de Cordoba Facultad de Medicina y Enfermeria, Cordoba, Spain
  3. 3 Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Rodolfo Montironi, Section of Pathological Anatomy, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona 60126, Italy; r.montironi{at}

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The review paper by Professor Paul J van Diest and colleagues entitled ‘Rocky road to digital diagnostics: implementation issues and exhilarating experiences’ describes and retraces, in a very attracting way, the path they have followed since 2007 in the fully implementation of digital diagnostics in pathology.1 We have to admit that we have followed at the beginning with some scepticism and then with enthusiasm, if not with some envy, the development of digitalisation in their institution that eventually has become so successful.

Our scepticism that then became enthusiasm has been linked to the fact that, in one way or another, we witnessed and even participated since the early 1980s in the development and application of what in the past was called ‘morphometry’ or ‘quantitative histopathology’ and what can be considered the background of the modern digital diagnostics. The senior author of our contribution still vividly remembers Professor van Diest entering the field of ‘morphometry’ at the beginning as a medical student and then as a young pathologist, and contributing actively to its development and application in ‘diagnostic pathology’.

Several groups were involved in the basic research, developing from scratch theoretical bases, algorithms and applications and even contributing to the development and update of image analysis systems, parallel to the developments in computer science. All this became common knowledge and appreciation among pathologists through publications and meetings. What has currently been achieved by Professor …

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  • Handling editor Runjan Chetty.

  • Contributors RM conceived the study. AC and RM wrote the manuscript. AL-B, MS and LC provided expert revision. All authors reviewed and contributed to the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.