Monday, January 02, 2006

DICOM Your CD-ROM!
Another AuntMinnie Thread


Periodically, the issue of why Amicas (and Stentor, oops, I mean Philips, iSite) don't burn DICOM CD-ROMS comes up on AuntMinnie.com. The fact is that neither PACS system does this, at least for now. I do believe Amicas will be adding this functionality shortly. In the meantime, there are a few options:
  1. Buy an eFilm License from Merge (if you didn't get one as a QC station originally), at a cost of $950 per year or $3100 for an unlimited time license.
  2. Use the FREE product from K-PACS that does more or less the same thing, and includes a viewer.
  3. It is actually possible to open a study from within Amicas LightBeam and then save it and manually burn it, but this has too many chances for error.

The thread got rather contentious, which seems to happen a lot on AuntMinnie. Even David Clunie weighed in on this; apparently he receives a very large number of non-DICOM disks from Amicas sites and it makes his life miserable. Dr. RW cited a case of something missed because someone had to compare a non-DICOM study on one machine to the DICOM study on their PACS workstation. (This is exactly why I think the Napster PACS idea has come of age.) Mr. Clunie actually advocated avoiding Amicas and others that don't burn DICOM CD-ROMs.

Given the other methods that exist to get the DICOM CD-ROM, I think it is a little drastic to tell people to avoid a PACS system on that criterion alone. Remember, never buy a PACS based on one particular bell or whistle (even a very important one), or you'll end up with a ScImage or ITL type product. Avoiding a system on the same basis will exclude some good companies. Still, I DO think Amicas and Philips need to get their DICOM-burning software finished yesterday.

For those CD's already out there, I wonder if there is a translation program that will convert an examination from Amicas or iSite (or for that matter Siemens proprietary ECAT PET) to regular ol' DICOM format? I know a few people that would gladly pay a reasonable amount for something like that. I have found a few pieces of software over the years that will do the conversion to some degree, although the process is rather painful and not worth it in the end. Once someone creates this, they may feel free to pay me a 10% royalty for the idea.

News Flash!!!

Andreas Knopke just posted this on the AM thread:

Hi Dalai,

We already contacted Stentor in order to get some information on their proprietory image format but without any luck. They answered with something like "DICOM will be supported soon". Amicas' JPEG2000 + XML template format will be supported soon by our DICOMReader ( free download at http://www.dicomreader.com) because it is quite easy to "dicomize" it.

Regards, Andreas

Thanks, Andreas! Great minds think alike, huh? Don't worry about my royalty, just make sure everyone knows about this!

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Dr. Dalai,

Interesting enough, no one on the AuntMinnie string mentioned IHE's initiative to help out in the world of CDs. In fact, they are on the second iteration of the profile entitled, "Portable Data for Imaging", or "PDI" for short. The first profile came out in 2004 and was updated for the 2005 RSNA. Many vendors who support that profile enabled visitors to take CDs from the booths, and try to read them in other PDI-compliant booths, as well as in the IHE InfoRAD area. And of course, these CDs are based on DICOM at their core.

In their own words, IHE says the following about PDI: "The IHE PDI Integration Profile enables the reliable interchange of patient records on CD—including images, evidence objects and diagnostic reports—for import, storage, display and printing. " Here's a link to some additional information from IHE: http://www.ihe.net/Events/pdi_demo_2005.cfm

Regards,

Brad Levin
VP, Marketing
Dynamic Imaging

Dr. RW said...

For the second time in as many weeks I have had to compare images to an Amicas CD-ROM. Dicom reader couldn't slice through the JP2 files. But help is on the way. The imaging center that used Amicas is going to upgrade soon and will be providing DICOM CDs in the future.

Nice web site Dr. Dalai. Best wishes.