A service based approach for medical image distribution in healthcare Intranets.

School of Medicine, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis GR-68100, Greece.
Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine (Impact Factor: 1.09). 03/2006; 81(2):117-27. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2005.09.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) protocol is currently the ubiquitous standard for the communication of medical images and related data within the radiology department. However, seamless image distribution within the healthcare enterprise and especially with research and educational information systems is still hard to achieve, as software developers of such third-party applications have to go through the rather cumbersome task of adapting the DICOM communication model and implementing the DICOM protocol. This paper gives a brief outline of current trends in medical image distribution in the healthcare enterprise, and proposes a new technological approach for distributing DICOM images and related data through commonplace Internet technologies, based on the emerging web services software paradigm. In particular, the paper describes the DICOM Image Management (DIM) web service which acts as a façade for conventional DICOM sources allowing DICOM image data and related information, to be transformed into XML documents encapsulated in SOAP messages, enabling integration at the application level through general purpose standardized web technologies. Implementation issues are discussed and a demonstration of engaging the DIM web service is included.

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