Answers to questions regarding Digital Readout Tests

What are Digital Readout Tests (DRTs)?

DRTs are a supplement to the established proficiency tests, but cannot fully replace them. The material to be evaluated (e.g. immunohistochemical stains, histological reviews) is made available centrally and in digitized form. The participants evaluate the material with regard to the given criteria, such as biomarker-dependent scores or entity-related categories. DRTs are aimed at pathologists, medical students or other interested parties worldwide who wish to train and test their individual evaluation skills.

How are the target values of the Digital Readout Tests (DRTs) determined?

The concept and implementation of a DRT is significantly influenced by the experts involved from the lead and panel institutes. They not only provide the material (e.g. cases, stains, annotations) but also determine the individual target value of each case. For this purpose, all samples provided in the DRTs are evaluated by several independent experts before the start. The concordant and agreed target values are determined through this process. Depending on the requirements, these target values can be unique or in the form of ranges. This means that all values within a certain range are completely correct and agree with the experts’ evaluations (Correct Answer Range). In addition, your specification may not be within the value range of the experts, but within an acceptable deviation (Acceptable Answer Range). This applies, for example, if you score within clinically relevant cut-offs/ranges despite deviating from the more narrowly defined Correct Answer Range and thus do not deviate significantly in your analysis.

Why is the Digital Readout Test (DRT) in English language?

The DRT, unlike the regular proficiency tests, has been designed from the beginning for an international audience. The language for the DRT is therefore English.

Do I need a user account to perform a Digital Readout Test (DRT) on the www.qualityinpathology.com homepage?

If you do not have a QuIP user account, you will need to complete a one-time registration process in order to enroll in the QuIP DRTs. Invoices, certificates of success or participation will be made available in your personal user area at www.qualityinpathology.com.

How do I create a user account?

On the homepage www.qualityinpathology.com click on “Login” in the upper right corner. Click on “Sign-Up Now!” in the new window that pops up. You can enter your institute and user data in the next step. You do not need to enter your institute’s data if you only wish to participate in a DRT. However, if you do not provide your institute’s data, you will only be able to participate in the DRTs and will not have access to the general proficiency tests. Please note that QuIP will need time to check your data and approve your registration for a user account. You will receive an email after your registration for a user account has been approved.

How can I enroll for a Digital Readout Test (DRT)?

Log in on www.qualityinpathology.com after you have created a user account. Then click on “Trial Registration” under the menu points on the left and select “Individual” instead of “Institute” or use this Link to navigate directly to the DRT program. There you can register for current DRTs by clicking on the respective test and then on “Enroll to Trial”. Detailed information regarding the DRT can also be found here, especially in the instructions, which can be downloaded. You will receive a confirmation for your enrollment to the DRT by e-mail.

I already have an institute user account with QuIP, which I use for proficiency tests. How can I register individually for a Digital Readout Test (DRT)?

Since the “Confirmation of Success” (certificate of success) is personal and uses the first and last name of the participant, we recommend that you create an account that includes your institute’s data. This is because the QuIP user accounts are now no longer only specific to an institution but refer also to individual persons or users. Several users can be assigned to one institute, all of whom can order both proficiency tests and DRTs. Proficiency tests can be seen and performed by all users of an institute, even when another user has registered for it. DRTs, on the other hand, are personal and only the user who has registered can perform the DRT and view the certificate and evaluation.

Who can participate in Digital Readout Tests (DRTs)?

The DRTs are aimed at individual participants who wish to train and test their personal evaluation skills. These can be, for example, resident physicians or specialists in pathology/neuropathology, medical students or interested natural scientists. An affiliation to an institute/university/company is not necessary for this.

What is the training part of the Digital Readout Test (DRT)?

The training part of a DRT contains cases you can use to practice and prepare for the test part. You can view different cases here and compare different staining protocols if necessary. After evaluating the individual samples, you will immediately receive an insight into the target value of each case and, if available, additional assistance through expert annotations. The training section is available to you during the entire test period of the DRT. There is no time limit for evaluating the training or practice cases.

What is the test part of the Digital Readout Test (DRT)?

In contrast to the training part, you will need to select an antibody, for example one that is closest to the established protocol in your own laboratory, before starting the test part of the DRT. Only one antibody can be selected per DRT. The execution of the test part is limited in time to mimic routine diagnostics conditions. However, you can pause the test part at any time and continue at a later point. The time will continue counting down when you resume the test. Additionally, you can skip cases and work on them at a later point. You will be notified of the results of your participation immediately after submitting your answers. Your participation in the DRT is considered successful when 90% of the test cases have been interpreted correctly. In case of a successful participation you will receive a certificate of participation. The comparison to the other participants (benchmarking) and an overview of the correct answers will only be made available after the test period ends.

How is a Digital Readout Test (DRT) conducted?

The participants examine the samples provided online (as scans) during the scheduled test period and enter the results in the online survey (results submission form) on our website www.qualityinpatholgoy.com. This requires an initial registration and creation of a user account (see also “Registration and Enrollment”). Depending on the DRT, there is a training part and a test part. The number of cases to be evaluated varies from DRT to DRT.

Will I receive a certificate?

Once you have achieved the minimum score required to pass the DRT, you will be able to download your Confirmation of Success, which includes the antibody information and your first and last name. It is issued in English.

What are the technical requirements to participate in a Digital Readout Test (DRT)?

System requirements for the software 

  • Internet browser e.g. Chrome (preferred)
  • Internet Explorer is not supported
  • JavaScript must be enabled
  • Internet connection
  • If external websites are blocked, the following domains and their cookies must be enabled:
    • *.quip.eu or *.qualityinpathology.com
    • lab.pathozoom.com
  • The website is not optimized for mobile devices
  • The minimum resolution for good usability is: 1280 x 1024 pixels
  • The website is optimized for 1920 x 1080 pixels

Recommendations of the Commission for Digital Pathology for monitor displays

  • There are no legal requirements for monitor displays
  • Flat screens (TFT monitors) are recommended, CRT monitors are not sufficient
  • The appropriate resolution should always be set for the corresponding monitors. Tissue scan pictures should appear clear and sharp without magnification
  • Requirements for contrast and brightness:
    • Minimum contrast: 1000:1
    • Minimum brightness: 0.5 cd/m²
    • Maximum brightness: 300 cd/m²
    • Brightness and contrast should be set to the average values on the monitor with normal external lighting (no direct sunlight)
  • Color fidelity
    • 24 bit (true color) with 8 bit grayscale is sufficient
    • The monitor should have the possibility for color calibration, automatic calibration is recommended
    • Manual color calibration should be carried out at intervals according to the manufacturer's recommendations

Source: Leitfaden Digitale Pathologie  (Digital Pathology Guide) – available only in German language

The digital slides aren’t displayed and I get a 3rd party cookies warning, what can I do?

In case you have any technical problems, please contact the project managers listed in the respective DRT manual. If the slides aren’t shown properly because of a 3rd party cookie warning, you can check your browser settings (e.g. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer) and allow all 3rd party cookies on the QuIP website. If you don’t want to activate these cookies you can click on the link shown in the Infobox in a new tab. Nevertheless results have to be saved and submitted on the initial platform below the not loaded image. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to find a suitable solution for you.