Video Compression and DICOM-Proxies for Remote Viewing of DICOM Images

Digital medical images are rapidly growing in size and volume. A typical study includes multiple image “slices.” These images have a special format and a communication protocol referred to as DICOM (Digital Imaging Communications in Medicine). Storing, retrieving, and viewing these images are handled by DICOM-enabled systems. DICOM images are stored in central repository servers called PACS (Picture Archival and Communication Systems). Remote viewing stations are DICOM-enabled applications that can query the PACS servers and retrieve the DICOM images for viewing. Modern medical images are quite large, reaching as much as 1 GB per file. When the viewing station is connected to the PACS server via a high-bandwidth local LAN, downloading of the images is relatively efficient and does not cause significant wasted time for physicians. Problems arise when the viewing station is located in a remote facility that has a low-bandwidth link to the PACS server. If the link between the PACS and remote facility is in the range of 1 Mbit/sec, downloading medical images is very slow. To overcome this problem, medical images are compressed to reduce the size for transmission. This paper describes a method of compression that maintains diagnostic quality of images while significantly reducing the volume to be transmitted, without any change to the existing PACS servers and viewer software, and without requiring any change in the way doctors retrieve and view images today.

By: Elahe Khorasani; Vadim Sheinin; Brent Paulovicks; Ashish Jagmohan

Published in: Lake Buena Vista, FL, vol.726472640T in 2009

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