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Implementing a MIRC query interface for a database driven teaching file

  • Author(s): Tellis, W M
  • Andriole, K P
  • et al.

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This paper describes the authors' experience with integrating an

existing database-driven teaching file with the RSNA (Radiological Society of

North America) Medical Imaging Resource Center [MIRC). MIRC is the product of

an RSNA-sponsored initiative to enable medical institutions to share their

electronic medical content (images, text, and multimedia) by creating a

distributed repository accessible from the Internet. An existing

database-driven teaching file, developed by the authors and used extensively by

the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Radiology since

1998, was retrofitted to include an interface for handling broadcast queries

initiated by a MIRC query service. These queries take place through the

exchange of XML documents via HTTP. After all the storage services have

responded, the results are collated by the query service and presented to the

user. The teaching file and MIRC interface were developed using the 4th

Dimension Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). The integration

process primarily involved mapping the "MIRCdocument" schema to the teaching

file's schema, translating the actual MIRC query into the internal query

language of the database and extending the access control mechanisms of the

teaching file to allow public access. A working implementation of the interface

required only 3 days of development time, with refinements taking place over

several months. Interface development was greatly aided by MIRC's use of

well-established Internet standards. This project has demonstrated the

feasibility of implementing a MIRC interface on an existing teaching file


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