Sunday, March 09, 2008

Centricity and Linux (and IntegradWeb)

Our Centricity site has been waiting to upgrade from version 2.x to 3.x for a while. We had an intermediate upgrade recently, but we're still in the 2.x's. The PACS administrator was just informed that (surprize!) the jump to 3.x will require new hardware, because the new back-end uses Linux.

This isn't a total shock, really, given the fact that GE uses Linux in other products, such as the Advantage Workstation (the beloved AW), as well as within the consoles of several scanners. Not only is Linux cheaper than Windows (they use the Red Hat flavor), but it is more robust as well. It is reasonable for them to do some back end migration to this platform, especially since at one time or another, there has been everything from Sun Unix to Mac OS bundled in there somewhere.

Ah, but here is the problem we face. At this point, we don't know how much this hardware upgrade is going to cost. AND, we aren't really all that sure how long the Centricity product will continue, given the recent acquisition of Dynamic Imaging and the incorporation of its IntegradWeb program. At some point, depending upon how much hardware (and software for that matter) the upgrade will require, the balance sheet tips in the favor of simply replacing the old Centricity 2.x with the new IntegradWeb. I'm hoping that migration of several years of data from on to the other won't be a big problem. If it is, there really might not be a reason to upgrade at all, except to keep the whiney radiologists happy. And eventually, there might not be a reason to migrate within the GE family altogether.

Anybody out there know any details about these upgrades and migrations? I suppose GE will tell us sooner or later.....


Anonymous said...

All I know is, that it is one thing to migrate DICOM standard image files, but the challenge, even for the most experienced outsourced migration specialist, is dealing with all the database information that was received by the RIS or input in PACS. Evidently all the PACS vendors have proprietary programming for the code that controls any information outside of the DICOM tag. That would be the order, report, hanging protocols, annotations, corrections made to modality worklist input, info that reconciles data to insure that all priors are associated and whatever else. Evidently every flavor of PACS has its own challenge when it is migrated. As to the other point regarding GE, Information that I am receiving indicates that the Dynamic Imaging product is being segmented out for the smaller sites and only used as a web portal overlay for the larger Centricity sites. It would be great to get some confirmation on this.

Unknown said...

Dr. Delai,
Off topic question...hope you can help. Do you know of a patch or bypass method to view GE PACS images through a MAC? I'm trying to research this and am about to give up.

Any tips or leads will do.


Dalai said...

Ericka, the only thing I can think of is to run Windows as a dual boot with the MAC. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys
I just received a copy of IntegradWeb PACS first in Australia to get a copy direct from GE and have installed it on a DL380 HP with Quad Core Processors X2, which was recommended to me by the support agents.
I don't have the minimum requirements on hand but ill get them from the office later in the week. I really like the integrated functionality with this product, a new workstation can be installed just by navigating to the servers webpage. I have not played/used it as yet but my company is about to put a demo site up soon.

Anonymous said...


I should look into Osirix. It's free, runs on MAC and...radiologists are very happy with it. It has a lot of features,including 3D reconstruction and visualization (More like an AW but free).

I played just a little with it, being requested only for installation and integration. It's a full PACS system itself, supports Query/Retrieve and knows to communicate with other DICOM devices, being them modalities (CT, MR or US) or PACS systems.

I should look into it if I were you...