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J Digit Imaging. 2009 Mar;22(1):1-10. Epub 2007 Sep 18.

VirtualPACS--a federating gateway to access remote image data resources over the grid.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Informatics, 3190 Graves Hall, 333 W 10th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Collaborations in biomedical research and clinical studies require that data, software, and computational resources be shared between geographically distant institutions. In radiology, there is a related issue of sharing remote DICOM data over the Internet. This paper focuses on the problem of federating multiple image data resources such that clients can interact with them as if they are stored in a centralized PACS. We present a toolkit, called VirtualPACS, to support this functionality. Using the toolkit, users can perform standard DICOM operations (query, retrieve, and submit) across distributed image databases. The key features of the toolkit are: (1) VirtualPACS makes it easy to use existing DICOM client applications for data access; (2) it can easily be incorporated into an imaging workflow as a DICOM source; (3) using VirtualPACS, heterogeneous collections of DICOM sources are exposed to clients through a uniform interface and common data model; and (4) DICOM image databases without DICOM messaging can be accessed.

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