Sharing, Connecting, and Collaborating
All MetaSystems products are ready for being connected with other systems, external databases, and the internet.
Important work is usually done in teams. Team members pool their different skills, share their experiences, and exchange data and knowledge. Multi-user Neon installations are no different from this: all systems share the same set of image and case data. Finely adjustable access rules regulate the data every single workstation or every user receives. Tasks can be differentially distributed among workstations. Dedicated Metafer scanning platforms act as image servers, Neon workstations are used for the analysis of images and for data maintenance. Users can access case data and images from their desk, or from the other side of the world.
Every Neon workstation is network-ready and well prepared for multi-user workspaces. Image and case data can either be stored on one of the Neon workstations and then shared with the other systems, or on the institute's main server. Neon takes care of user access rights, workflow organization, and up-to-date info on the processing status of any case an image.
Privileges of Neon users can be precisely adjusted. Neon administrators can create an unlimited number of user access levels, and each level can hold precise information about user rights on this level. Images and data files are encrypted, and settings files contain check sums to protect against unauthorized editing.
The scanning platform Metafer is ready for being used as an automated, unattended image server. However, sometimes it is required to review the data it generates, to evaluate the results, or to optimize some settings. In any of these cases it would be very inconvenient to interrupt scanning for accessing the Metafer software. Hence, Metafer is prepared for separate analysis sessions performed either locally using extra instances of the Metafer software, or remotely using Metafer Analysis or relocation stations.
On each Metafer system an unlimited number of analysis licenses can be installed. Neon's integrated task manager accesses these licenses even while the main Metafer scanning module is running. Once a slide is scanned its data file can be opened in another Metafer instance, and reviewed. Even more convenient is the access to Metafer data from external stations through the network. Such a Metafer Review or Metafer Analysis station has the same screen like Metafer and offers the same operations. For instance, a collection of metaphases acquired by Metafer for aberration analysis can be easily analyzed on such a remote station. All tools (scoring sheet, reporting engine etc.) are available; Neon takes care for data security and access levels.
If users prefer to acquire images manually on a separate microscope this is perfectly supported by concept of the relocation station (ReloSys). ReloSys reads Metafer data and has a motorized stage. Like in Metafer, ReloSys users can relocate an object by selecting the corresponding gallery image on the screen. Once relocated, images of the object (e.g., a G-banded metaphase) can be acquired either with Ikaros and Isis, or even using a third party image acquisition software.
VMD (Virtual Microscope Database) is a web-based storing and sharing solution for MetaSystems images that makes virtual slides available in almost any location of the world. Combined with the Metafer scanning platform and the slide digitization software, microscopy slides are easily made accessible through the web.
VMD is much more than a web server for digital slide images. It also stores any additional information necessary for each slide or case. Therefore all the information needed to analyze a slide is immediately available. The built-in conferencing tool, which allows fast and productive online discussions over an image, can be used as another source of information.
A flexible and easy to understand access rights management system makes sure that slides are only visible to authorized users. Rights can be granted either for the whole database or for specific slides and cases. Different workgroups or laboratories on the same server can be securely separated from each other.
Slides are grouped into cases. Cases also contain additional metadata, for instance the sample preparation date, or information on the user. Additionally, slides in VMD may contain sub-slides, which can be image clippings (e.g., TMA cores) or subsequent scans of the same sample.
Though digital slide images may become very large, this does not influence the display speed of VMD. Original Metafer images on VMD are stored with different resolutions. Sophisticated viewing algorithms only load the requested content, thus, effectively minimizing network traffic.
A VMD server can be placed anywhere where a broadband internet connection is available. Please visit the VMD demo server (login name: ms, password:ms), which is located in Germany, for an impression of the system's performance and features.