|Title||Open-source, low-cost, high-reliability solutions for digital imaging systems: example of a "dicom router".|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2007|
|Authors||Gatta, R, Abeni, F, Buglione, M, Peveri, A, Barbera, F, Tonoli, S, Fratta, P, Magrini, SM|
|Journal||La Radiologia medica|
|Date Published||2007 Dec|
PURPOSE: The purpose of this article is to illustrate a case where acquisition of digital imaging know-how by a modern radiotherapy division has helped to solve a technical problem while allowing substantial savings through the use of free and open-source resources. The problem was related to the necessity to route, with complex policies, the images produced by different digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) sources within the department or in other divisions and/or hospitals. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The problem was solved by using completely free, well-tested and stable technologies (PHP, Apache, MySQL, DCMTK OFFIS, Red Hat Linux 9A and Linux Fedora Core 4) and low-cost hardware to contain costs. In the development, we also considered integration of the routed images with the existing electronic clinical records. RESULTS: The system developed, called the dicom router, implemented two kinds of routing: manual and automatic, both oriented to link the images acquired with the existing electronic clinical records. System stability was enhanced in a second phase by using a low-cost hardware redundancy solution. The system has now been operating for 1 year and has proved the value of the technologies used. CONCLUSIONS: The need to operate with more than one provider creates a series of integration issues, so that it becomes economically appealing to acquire internally the knowledge needed to interact more precisely with providers of big information technology (IT) solutions. This need is well catered for by open-source technologies, which are well documented and available to everyone. By using them, in-house IT technicians are able to implement valuable technical solutions for small-to medium-sized informatization problems, which would otherwise remain unsolved except with great economic efforts.
|Alternate Journal||Radiol Med|