In making a pathologic diagnosis, a pathologist uses cognitive processes: perception, attention, memory, and
search (Pena and Andrade-Filho, 2009). Typically, this involves focus while panning from one region of a
slide to another, using either a microscope in a traditional workflow or software program and display in a
digital pathology workflow (DICOM Standard Committee, 2010). We theorize that during panning operation,
the pathologist receives information important to diagnosis efficiency and/or correctness. As compared to an
optical microscope, panning in a digital pathology image involves some visual artifacts due to the following:
(i) the frame rate is finite; (ii) time varying visual signals are reconstructed using imperfect zero-order hold.
Specifically, after pixel’s digital drive is changed, it takes time for a pixel to emit the expected amount of
light. Previous work suggests that 49% of navigation is conducted in low-power/overview with digital
pathology (Molin et al., 2015), but the influence of display factors has not been measured. We conducted a
reader study to establish a relationship between display frame rate, panel response time, and threshold
panning speed (above which the artifacts become noticeable). Our results suggest visual tasks that involve
tissue structure are more impacted by the simulated panning artifacts than those that only involve color (e.g.,
staining intensity estimation), and that the panning artifacts versus normalized panning speed has a peak
behavior which is surprising and may change for a diagnostic task. This is work in progress and our final
findings should be considered in designing future digital pathology systems.