The Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science is a new institute that was created through the integration of three medical research institutes in April 2011. The institute established the Neuropathology Specimen Research Center and is developing activities to improve the precision of neuropathology diagnosis in metropolitan hospitals and other facilities. This center is a research resource that houses approximately 5000 pathology specimens of human brain neuropathies, paraffin blocks, and associated material. Moreover, this center undertakes research on elucidating the pathology of various neuropathies and offers training activities and lifelong learning support to assist doctors seeking medical specialties.
The Neuropathology Database of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science is being developed through high-precision specimen scanning with a virtual slide device and the uploading of images to a dedicated server. Using our research assets and digitized database, we propose a range of content to improve the standard of medical examination and diagnosis as well as educational efficiency.
The imaging data for approximately 1000 of our brain pathology glass slides have been acquired with a high-precision virtual slide device and uploaded onto the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science Neuropathology Database server. Folders have been established that include images of normal tissue and abnormal cell pathology and information on disease categories. This content has been remotely presented at universities during lectures and seminars. The use of this data as a training tool has also been verified. Moreover, dedicated rooms have been set up as training rooms for metropolitan hospital staff and in-hospital conferences, and trial operations have been conducted with tools for professional training and information sharing within hospitals.
Our e-learning digital content has been classified into five categories, including gross pathology, staining methods, brain regions, cell types, and diseases. The brain regions category includes sections on the cerebral cortex and white matter, basal ganglia, brain stem, cerebellum, and spinal cord. The cell types category includes sections on neurons, myelin sheaths, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and macrophages. The diseases category has been divided into 14 sections, including motor neuron diseases, tauopathies, synucleinopathies, triplet-repeat diseases, demyelinating or myelinoclastic diseases, infectious or prion diseases, epilepsy or malformations, neurocutaneous syndromes, brain tumors, intoxication or malnutrition disorders, circulation disorders, head trauma or forensic pathology, metabolic disorders, and other neuropathies. A menu bar has been set up for each disease associated with these sections, and the information is also arranged by brain region, which provides the information in a format that is very searchable.
PowerPoint files used in hospital study groups have been edited into a quiz format and uploaded to the server. This information is expected to be used as step-by-step educational content to enable gradual and certain acquisition of basic knowledge.
Video content for web-based seminars has also been included. This content has been specifically designed for use as video streaming educational content (webinars) for accessible training. This content may be beneficial for improving pathological examination skills.
We have also included educational material that can be easily understood by relative beginners. The content includes material on the different cell types involved in cellular brain pathologies, including neurons and glial cells, and neurological staining methods. There is also educational material on neurological pathologies, including epilepsy, proteopathies, and brain tumors. Such educational materials will be continually added to increase the amount of content.
We are creating dedicated rooms to suit the various needs of metropolitan and public corporation hospital staff utilizing NetCommons, which is a social networking service (SNS). We are also promoting web conferences.