- 03 October 2011
Are you considering a picture archiving and communication system (aka PACS) but are apprehensive due to the investment required? ·Just to clarify, PACS is an economical and automated system that makes it easy to store and retrieve images from pretty much anywhere. ·Thanks to the open source revolution, there are quite a few proven and free options for both PC and Mac that should be seriously considered if you’re looking to roll out a modern solution to image storage.·DICOM viewers, free or paid, are useful when dealing with a DICOM—compliant PACS or cloud-PACS system—such as the coming Vetology platform (more on this at a later date). Having a DICOM viewer on your computer will allow you to view images and other data that is stored in a DICOM format.
OsiriX is based on the Macintosh platform and has gained traction in the veterinary industry. ·This past summer I visited two clinics that have successfully rolled out OsiriX on their own with the help of their tech-savvy staff. The first clinic was a small animal hospital that deployed OsiriX on only one machine. The other clinic was an equine hospital whose OsiriX deployment was a bit more advanced, having multiple Macs where images can be viewed and retrieved.
OsiriX provides both an advanced viewer and a PACS workstation that processes DICOM images from various imaging machines. Some highlights of the OsiriX viewer are that in addition to DICOM, it supports TIFF, JPEG, PDF, AVI, MPEG and Quicktime, as well as 2D, 3D, 4D, and 5D. ·Recently, OsiriX released iPhone and iPad apps that will allow you to view studies anywhere inside or outside of the hospital … pretty cool!
OsiriX also serves as an open-source PACS Workstation and provides the software for image processing. ·OsiriX is built on top of the Cocoa framework, which allows you to build plugins to fit your specific needs.
K-PACS is a PC-based offering that also provides a viewer and PACS server. I often will download the K-PACS viewer on the fly to a PC when a case needs to be reviewed immediately. ·The flexible K-PACS Viewer supports DICOM and JPEG and can export in a variety of ways. The K-PACS Server provides the ability to store images and is easy to install and maintain on a wide range of hardware, including Windows 7 workstations.
Which option might be best for you?
If you’re already a Macintosh clinic or looking for advanced capabilities such as image fusion, CT, MRI, etc, certainly look into OsiriX. ·If you’re a PC clinic and aren’t looking for more than being able to manipulate and view your images, certainly check out K-PACS.
If you already use these or other solutions, please do drop me a line, as I’d be interested to learn more about your installation.