Some thoughts from our VP of Software Engineering regarding the future of PathViewer and OMERO Plus for Digital Pathology

Chris Allan

During the past few months we have had the pleasure of working on the PathViewer, our solution for the interactive visualization, analysis and annotation of digital pathology images. This has allowed us to expose areas of functionality previously not seen in OMERO.web or OMERO.insight, and continue our fruitful collaboration with the open source OMERO project.

While PathViewer is primarily a visualization and free-hand annotation tool, such annotations would have significantly less impact without the ability for those annotations to be accessed via an API, collaboratively manipulated, and structurally annotated. OMERO Plus provides such functionality out of the box via its API, which is available to all in Python, Java, C++ and MATLAB. PathViewer’s free-hand annotations are OMERO Plus regions of interest (ROIs) and are annotated with key-value pairs that offer full query-ability.

The single largest strength of OMERO Plus is its stature as a platform. This platform status brings inherent interoperability and pluggability, and fosters collaboration. Throughout our development process we were able to ensure a deep ROI interoperability with both OMERO.web and OMERO.insight. We are also happy to be able to call PathViewer a true OMERO.web plugin and collaborate on additional full image viewer configurability features that will allow all future plugin writers to extend OMERO.web viewing capabilities in interesting new ways!

This collaborative environment has also fostered the creation of OMERO Marshal — a new open source, Python project which facilitates OME schema driven marshalling of OMERO model objects. We are very excited to see all the places where it can be used!

As PathViewer evolution continues, we are also looking forward to building on its interoperable, OMERO.web plugin legacy by delivering new, innovative products targeting different domains and delivering new solutions. Watch out for news from us in high content screening and analysis!