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3D Advanced Visualization & PACS (Picture Archiving & Communications Systems) Integration Continues to Evolve

Colleagues,

... As reported in Aunt Minnie ... In today's imaging world, Advanced Visualization (AV) is a necessity. When integrating AV technology into PACS, however, users have to choose from several approaches, each with its own pros and cons, according to a presentation at the recent Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) annual meeting in Minneapolis...

...
In a talk at SIIM, Kenneth Wang, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, shared his research team's concept of the continuum of PACS and advanced visualization integration, ranging from the traditional method of separate PACS and 3D software to a future vision of complete integration with a common user interface and a modular framework for incorporating specific software applications...

...Although 3D is increasingly being used in clinical imaging, it still lags behind the widespread adoption of PACS. This is due to several reasons, including the belief by some that 3D isn't necessary for all cases ..

...Also, the 3D lab model, which utilizes specialized hardware and software resources and specially trained staff, has been seen as a successful way to handle advanced visualization tasks. That's another reason why PACS and 3D haven't been tightly coupled...

.... attempts to integrate these technologies haven't always been seamless, either.  Until just a few years ago, the dominant mode of using 3D involved radiologists switching back and forth between PACS and 3D workstations ...

... wouldn't it be nice if we had a platform where you could start to plug multi-vendor 3D applications into a single platform that can serve all your needs? ...

...
The first level of PACS and 3D integration is the traditional model, utilizing separate turnkey client software for both PACS and 3D....

...However, this method suffers from being disruptive, forcing radiologists to move back and forth from each system. It's also hard to maintain and support and is not scalable...

...The second level -- proprietary client-side integration -- involves the concept of context sharing to provide advanced visualization tools on the same system ... Traditionally, this type of arrangement has depended on a specific PACS vendor deciding to form a strategic relationship with another specific 3D vendor to develop these special-purpose connections.  That really kind of locks you in, in terms of what your choices are ...

... A third level of integration, using server-based 3D rendering in combination with a thin 3D client separate from the PACS, addresses some of those disadvantages of the context-sharing model. It also doesn't require dedicated image transfers over the network, is scalable, and is
easier for the IT staff to maintain and support ...

... The fourth level of integration utilizes archive and database integration, enabling users to benefit from less hardware redundancy.  The need for dedicated DICOM transfers is eliminated and 3D vendors are freed from developing database and worklist functions...However, it still uses separate user interfaces for PACS and 3D ...

...The final level of the PACS and 3D integration hierarchy would use a client platform in which applications could plug into a common framework. These applications would provide their functions through a unified user interface ...This would allow users to assemble a suite of the applications that best suit their needs ...  MedTech-IQ Comment:  "The There's an App for That" approach ...

...Efforts are under way to develop this type of platform, including work by DICOM Working Group 23 and the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) eXtensible Imaging Platform (XIP) ...

Read on at: http://www.auntminnie.com/index.asp?Sec=sup&Sub=pac&Pag=dis...

ENJOY!

CC

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