Virtual microscopy or digital microscopy is the digital conversion of light microscopic specimens in full resolution and their presentation over a computer network. In most cases, the specimens are scanned with special microscopes, so-called slide scanners, but they can also be produced by joining several photos taken through the microscope.
The frequently used term “virtual” refers to the examination of the specimens without direct contact to the object slide or the light microscope.
The term “high-resolution digital microscopy” is more precise, but not frequently used. Other terms that are frequently being used are internet-based microscopy, ePathology, eHistology, eHematology, eBiology or virtual microscope. These terms are to some extent used synonymously with the term virtual microscopy.