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Re: understanding DICOM workflow

Hi Sebastian,

> What I would like to do: [typical imaging workflow]

This can indeed be covered by Open Source tools. One well-known Open
Source DICOM toolkit is DCMTK [1] which is developed in Germany. Since I
am one the developers, I focus on these (and I am biased;). Of course
there are other (great!) tools but others probably know more about them.

These are the DCMTK tools that specifically deal with your use case:

- storescu: Send images ("DICOM Storage SCU")
- storescp: Receive images ("DICOM Storage SCP")
- wlmscpfs: Worklist server, serves Worklist jobs from file
  system ("DICOM Modality Worklist SCP").

The following tools could also be interesting for you:

- findscu: Worklist client ("DICOM Modality Worklist SCU")
- movescu/getscu/findscu: Find and download images ("DICOM Q/R SCU")
- dcmqrscp: Image archive ("DICOM Q/R SCP"), i.e. mini PACS

All the tools are command line tools written in C++ and can be compiled
for Linux, Mac and Windows (besides others). Of course they are
available via apt in Debian. Note that if you need Storage Commitment
(another DICOM service on top of DICOM Storage) there is no ready-to-use
Open Source tool in DCMTK.

In order to get an idea how the tools work, you might read through a
tutorial describing their use for PACS communication [2] that I wrote
some months ago for a research project. All DCMTK tools have man pages.
They are part of the documentation that is also online here [3]. There
is also a well active discussion forum [4].

If you want to read more deeply into the standard you can find it here
for download [5]. But be aware, it's usually not known as an
easy read for beginners ;) A good place for DICOM questions (not DCMTK
questions) is the DICOM newsgroup [6] though probably one should get a
basic understanding before posting.

Actually there is another technical specification which connects DICOM
and standards like HL7 for complete workflows (services and options
used, restrictions, data mapping between standards, ...). It is called
IHE and you can download the specifications here [7]. If you're from the
radiology department, look into Radiology section on the site, open
Volume 1 and read through "Scheduled Workflow" which is the regular
Radiology workflow mapped to DICOM and HL7.

Happy reading, learning and using!

Viele Grüße

[1] http://dicom.offis.de/dcmtk.php.en
[3] http://support.dcmtk.org/
[4] http://forum.dcmtk.org
[5] http://medical.nema.org/ (yes, that is the official web site...)
[6] comp.protocols.dicom, also mirrored here:
[7] http://ihe.net/Technical_Frameworks/

Michael Onken, Open Connections GmbH

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