Projects per year
Purpose: Having access to a library of radiological images in the university setting is important for teaching and learning in diagnostic radiography. Modern modalities such as PETCT create data volumes rather than single static 2D images. A PACS repository of images alone does not constitute a teaching library without some text based searchable index. A review of several options for acquiring a digital teaching library (DTL) of such indexed DICOM data is presented. Discussion: The data protection principles, current guidance and potential methods for migrating and cleansing large quantities of DICOM data from a clinical PACS prior to transfer to a university setting is discussed. The chosen method is described and the important enabling technology identified. Various methods of index construction are outlined and a method of migrating and cleansing HL7 data from a clinical RIS described. Results: Three terabytes of de-normalised DICOM image files were cleansed of patient, staff and geographic identifiers, within the header tags and pixel data. These files were then migrated to an educational PACS hosted at a university. A searchable index database was created based on 90,200 reports and associated data, and 886,263 DICOM headers to enable meaningful results to be found from the 51,304 unique patient specific cases. Conclusion: A large DTL in the university setting using PACS technology is becoming a valuable resource for teaching, learning and assessment.