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openSourcePACS: An extensible infrastructure for medical image management


The development of comprehensive picture archive and communication systems (PACS) has mainly been limited to proprietary developments by vendors, though a number of freely available software projects have addressed specific image management tasks. The openSourcePACS project aims to provide an open source, common foundation upon which not only can a basic PACS be readily implemented, but to also support the evolution of new PACs functionality through the development of novel imaging applications and services. open Source PACS consists of four main software modules: 1) image order entry, which enables the ordering and tracking of structured image requisitions; 2) an agent-based image server framework that coordinates distributed image services including routing, image processing, and querying beyond the present digital image and communications in medicine (DICOM) capabilities; 3) an image viewer, supporting standard display and image manipulation tools, DICOM presentation states, and structured reporting; and 4) reporting and result dissemination, supplying web-based widgets for creating integrated reports. All components are implemented using Java to encourage cross-platform deployment. To demonstrate the usage of openSourcePACS, a preliminary application supporting primary care/specialist communication was developed and is described herein. Ultimately, the goal of openSourcePACS is to promote the wide-scale development and usage of PACS and imaging applications within academic and research communities.

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