A Modular Image Transfer, Archive, Database System for Research and Clinical Image Distribution

R.L. Levin1, G.S. Sobering1, M. Douglas1, S. Misra2, J. Conner3, J.A. Frank4

1-Multi-Modality Radiological Image Processing Section, NIH, Bethesda, MD
2-Sensor Systems, Inc., Sterling, VA
3-DeJarnette Research Systems, Inc., Towson, MD
4-Laboratory of Diagnostic Radiology Research, NIH

Submitted to RSNA 1995 Annual Meeting


This project provides a mechanism for researchers and clinicians to access images collected at the NIH. The system is primarily designed to automatically receive DICOM images from radiological scanners, but can also accept other formats. Images are archived in their native format. A simple data-base provides secure access to the image archive.

Material and Methods:

Images from DICOM-capable scanners are automatically sent to the "catcher" program (DeJarnette) running on a small UNIX workstation, which has adequate local storage for one day's images. The "catcher" extracts 30 header fields for the data-base, and requests the "committer" program (Sensor) to add the images into the archive. The "committer" copies the images into the Andrew File System (Transarc) archive and creates a data-base entry. Access to the data-base is controlled by the Kerberos authentication system.


Typically, less than 45 minutes after a scan is completed, the images have moved through the "catcher" and "committer" and are available in the archive.


Open systems and standards (ex. UNIX, TCP/IP, DICOM) make it possible to construct an non-proprietary image acquisition and archive system. This system is currently archiving ca. 4 gigabytes of data every day.

Financial Disclosure:

S. Misra in an employee of Sensor Sysytems, Inc. and J. Conner is an employee of DeJarnette Research Systems, Inc.