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Remote access of MRI Images using DICOM?

Posted on 2007-12-04
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Calling all medical IT experts!

I have a medical client that I am setting up a network for.  They have an MRI machine in one state, and doctors who would like the ability to view images from another clinic in another state.  

How do I do this?  I just learned a little bit about DICOM after speaking with Hitachi.  I think I would need to network the two sites, and set up a DICOM machine in the off-site location that the MRI device can send images to.  

OR, can I have the MRI machine send images to a local file server, then remotely transfer them, and view them with some kind of image viewing software?

Also, what type of monitor, workstation, and video adapter do you recommend for viewing MRI images of the brain?  
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Question by:dempsedm
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Mark earned 1000 total points
ID: 20407923
I can't say I'm a medical IT expert, but in the hospital where I work, we use the AGFA IMPAX Web1000.
This is used by medical staff to access scans which are done in other medical centers and can be viewed wherever there is a suitable internet network connection. Geographic distance makes no difference.
http://www.agfa.com/en/he/products_services/all_products/impax_web1000.jsp

Essentially software is installed on the remote computer that you want to view the images on and the images are stored in a server which requires secure login. I assume this would be similar to DICOM.
The viewing computer doesn't require much  but a high  resolution screen with a good contrast control helps when viewing.
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by:maharlika
maharlika earned 1000 total points
ID: 20415720
We also use Agfa Impax, to view images from our pacs.  The images are viewable in web server.  Remote doctors vpn into it, although we are looking at putting it into a DMZ so they won't have to VPN.  Most of the doctors just use regular monitor to view, but if they are doing the study themselves (e.g. if they are a radiologist preparing the diagnostic report) they have to use diagnostic monitors, such as barco (they're about $20k each).  Before we had pacs, we looked into setting up doctors to receive dicom imageson their pc's--there are several inexpensive (even free, I believe) packages that allow you to receive and view dicom images, but we went to pacs and never did this.
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by:dempsedm
ID: 20415852
Cool, this is good to know.  We are so small that pacs seems cost prohibitive, but I will bring it up in our meeting.  $20k monitors now?  Sheesh!  I think they used to print to film, but is this a requirement?  This would be for neurologists, not radiologists.  I'm a little overwhelmed by all of this, one person tells me one thing, and another person I talk to tells me something else on the phone.  
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by:dempsedm
ID: 20623715
We got the Barco monitors, and will use eFilm workstation to burn to CD/DVD and possibly store images in a regular file server.

Thanks for your help!
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Expert Comment

by:maharlika
ID: 20685702
dempsedm

It's good you got the barcos--it's required by law (at least here in SC) that the radiologist use diagnostic monitors, but I'm not sure about neurologists.  Going to pacs is very expensive and time-consuming, but it's becoming almost mandatory now because everybody wants digital images, instant access, etc.
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