How diagnostic images get from server hard drives to the screen is a topic of great interest to both industry and buyers of imaging IT solutions. Speed of image access is critical for quality of service and care, along with productivity and user satisfaction.
Different solutions take different approaches to optimize image delivery over varying networks. Many solutions combine more than one software design method to achieve the best possible performance. In many cases, industry or buyers will use jargon, like “streaming”, to apply a simple term to these sometimes complex technical methods.
In a recent article by AXIS Imaging, I describe four common techniques that are used in (and occasionally between) different imaging IT systems to maximize image display speed. The article length limit prevented coverage of additional methods and intentionally excluded IT infrastructure optimizations (for example, faster networks, CPUs, and drives) and the use of irreversible lossy image compression of the images on disk.
Important Article Corrections
Although I followed up with the author about some transcription errors they made in preparing the article language, they were not corrected (at least at the time of posting this), so I am going to note some corrections here.
- Where the article states “…radiology practices and departments have options when designing high-speed image display…”, it should state “…radiology practices and departments have options when choosing the solution for high-speed image display…”. Radiology practices choose a solution and that solution will use one or more of the design methods (or additional ones not listed), but the Radiologists don’t choose the methods within the solution.
- In subsection #3, the second bullet refers to a condition where pre-caching is typically not possible (the article states the opposite). If the worklist is a separate application from the image display application, the image display application often has no method of knowing which exams listed are in the worklist, so is unable to pre-cache the images to the workstation. This is not always true, as some worklist applications can expose this information to the image display application through an API, but this is not a universally available capability and does require that a specific integration be developed to support this across the applications.
- In subsection #4, where it states “visual design infrastructure”, it should instead state “virtual desktop infrastructure”. People commonly refer to it as VDI.