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      DICOM router: an open source toolbox for communication and correction of DICOM objects.

      Academic Radiology

      Computer Communication Networks, Database Management Systems, Humans, Information Storage and Retrieval, Programming Languages, User-Computer Interface, Radiology Information Systems, organization & administration, Software, Systems Integration, CD-ROM

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          Today, the exchange of medical images and clinical information is well defined by the digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) and Health Level Seven (ie, HL7) standards. The interoperability among information systems is specified by the integration profiles of IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise). However, older imaging modalities frequently do not correctly support these interfaces and integration profiles, and some use cases are not yet specified by IHE. Therefore, corrections of DICOM objects are necessary to establish conformity. The aim of this project was to develop a toolbox that can automatically perform these recurrent corrections of the DICOM objects. The toolbox is composed of three main components: 1) a receiver to receive DICOM objects, 2) a processing pipeline to correct each object, and 3) one or more senders to forward each corrected object to predefined addressees. The toolbox is implemented under Java as an open source project. The processing pipeline is realized by means of plug ins. One of the plug ins can be programmed by the user via an external eXtensible Stylesheet Language (ie, XSL) file. Using this plug in, DICOM objects can also be converted into eXtensible Markup Language (ie, XML) documents or other data formats. DICOM storage services, DICOM CD-ROMs, and the local file system are defined as input and output channel. The toolbox is used clinically for different application areas. These are the automatic correction of DICOM objects from non-IHE-conforming modalities, the import of DICOM CD-ROMs into the picture archiving and communication system and the pseudo naming of DICOM images. The toolbox has been accepted by users in a clinical setting. Because of the open programming interfaces, the functionality can easily be adapted to future applications.

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