A word regarding "PACS" as it exists now.
Traditional "PACS" describe a image review system for the capture and
display of static images (i.e x-rays). Larger enterprise solutions
(Phillips, GE and Seimens) are "proprietary" in that they use propietary
software and hardware to accomplish these functions. The upside is that it
gives an individual company to deliver some capabilities earlier (like
transfer of numerical data) but usually only to there own off-line
workstations (because they are using their proprietary method/code). The
downside is that they are rarely compatible with any thing else. And there
is absolutely no profit in allowing that. So, the bigger manufacturers have
been driving all that they could into these "enterprise" solutions. This
effectively "locks" the customer into their product for the foreseeable
Now, there are PC based "software only" solutions. These programs are placed
on the office/practice/hospital network, as is the ultrasound system itself
and then each entity has its own IP address and port # to transfer the
images AND numerical AND DOPPLER data.
The reason that this is just now is available is because of two things; PC
processing speed and memory (to handle the relatively huge amount of data,
i.e. moving images) and a usable DICOM standard (meaning the the anatomical
site data and the DICOM code assigned to it) had to completed (agreed on).
This has been done (and just recently at that).
Now the interested software companies are furiously at work to add to their
image review software the capability to accept and display numerical data
and even Doppler angles.
I am using a Seimens Sequoia 512 sw ver. 12.0 with my offline PC based
"VascuPro" software (www.consensus.med) to accept, database, display and
generate a report for all of my carotid, visceral vascular, arterial and
venous studies. All measurements and Doppler angles are exported on study
close. I really only have to interact with the software in a limited fashion
to complete the report.
"Audio" will be available when the DICOM committee agrees on a standard, so
their to blame for that. But, it would be easy enough to export that as a
Its complicated, but also keep in mind in the grand scheme of development of
new products and capabilities in the medical ultrasound world. Its
marketshare that drives development. The various radiology (general
ultrasound) applications are the biggest market and so their concerns will
be addressed first.
Its nor right, but its a fact.
Michael Alvarado, RVT, RDCS
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