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J Digit Imaging. 2007 Nov;20 Suppl 1:83-93. Epub 2007 Aug 7.

Rapid development of medical imaging tools with open-source libraries.

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Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Rapid prototyping is an important element in researching new imaging analysis techniques and developing custom medical applications. In the last ten years, the open source community and the number of open source libraries and freely available frameworks for biomedical research have grown significantly. What they offer are now considered standards in medical image analysis, computer-aided diagnosis, and medical visualization. A cursory review of the peer-reviewed literature in imaging informatics (indeed, in almost any information technology-dependent scientific discipline) indicates the current reliance on open source libraries to accelerate development and validation of processes and techniques. In this survey paper, we review and compare a few of the most successful open source libraries and frameworks for medical application development. Our dual intentions are to provide evidence that these approaches already constitute a vital and essential part of medical image analysis, diagnosis, and visualization and to motivate the reader to use open source libraries and software for rapid prototyping of medical applications and tools.

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