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Central Repository for Medical Images and Corresponding Reports

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012475D
Publication Date: 2003-May-08
Document File: 4 page(s) / 293K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The use of hospital acquired medical images is becoming increasingly important in the research and development of medical technology. To facilitate new development, patient images will need to be shared between hospitals and various R&D facilities internal and external to the hospital. This invention retrieves images and reports from hospitals, automatically reads the DICOM header fields of the images and enters all relevant information into the database. The information from physician reports is also entered into the database and is linked to the corresponding images. The database and all image data are stored on a central server. The user interface allows users to search, browse, view, send and (for certain users) edit the information contained in the database. Behind the interface, Structured Query Language (SQL) is implemented to make the database searchable on desired fields.

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FIELD OF TECHNOLOGY: 

Multiple Technology Fields

INVENTION TITLE: 

Central Repository for Medical Images and Corresponding Reports

PROBLEM/BACKGROUND: 

The use of hospital acquired medical images is becoming increasingly important in the research and development (R&D) of medical technology.  To facilitate new development, patient images will need to be shared between hospitals and various R&D facilities internal and external to the hospital.  The immediate need for patient images along with corresponding physician reports is multifold -

·         For image-based algorithm development, it is essential to have a database of images, including a comprehensive representation of examples of non-diseased patients and patients with confirmed pathologies.  The confirmation of these pathologies or lack thereof is achieved through Biopsy, other multi-modality images and/or other tests.  The database needs to include the data from multiple technology fields (CT, MR, etc.) and Biopsy Reports.

·         A database of images and reports as well as a systematic method to store and track the results of various algorithms is needed to compare performance of different algorithms.

·         When algorithms are transitioned from the feasibility stage to the product development stage, a database of images along with a “gold standard” set of results need to be provided so that algorithms re-developed by product teams on different hardware/software platforms can be validated. An organized way to store the images and track results provided by various versions of hardware/software is needed.

·         For a diagnostic imaging equipment manufacturer, a central repository of images and a methodical way of retrieving such images is needed by marketing individuals for display at trade shows and for selling to customers.

·         For teaching purposes at hospitals, a set of good images with well documented case histories is needed.

INVENTION DESCRIPTION:    

Medical images are usually encoded using the DICOM (Digital Image Communication in Medicine) standard. DICOM images have a header section followed by the image data. The header has several fields, which contain information such as patient name, patient identification (ID), birth date, hospital name, date of acquisition, techniques used for the acquisition, etc. As dictated by the DICOM Standards’ “Supplement 55”, key fields such as patient name and patient ID are anonymized before the images can be shared with research facilities. The same requirement applies for medical images encoded using other standards and medical reports encoded with structured reporting.

The process of including images into the database involves reading the DICOM header and extracting key fields from the header as well as key information from physician reports to be placed in appropriate field within the structure of the database. 

This invention retrieves images and reports from hospitals, automatically reads the DICOM header fields of the images and enters all relev...