[ Changed 18th November 1997 ]
A system has been developed that allows the rapid, secure and private transmission of Nuclear Medicine and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) image data with associated patient files between a number of hospital sites facilitating clinical collaboration and accelerated education of Nuclear Medicine physicians.
Participating departments maintain an mSQL database populated with DICOM objects generated from Interfile or proprietary data. The database contains patient and study information and references to image data which may, or may not, be in DICOM format. An internet navigator is used to query the database and Multipurpose Mail Extension (MIME) typing enables the navigator to download a specific image, and launch a viewer appropriate to the data format and viewing platform. The clinicians can then report the images and submit a text report via either fax or over the internet. The protocols are independent of the network infrastructure linking the hospital sites and data transfer has been secured through the Secure Socket Layer (SSL). ATM networking has made the establishment of a dial-up telemedicine virtual LAN practical offering enhanced security.
Nuclear Medicine and PET departments on three hospital sites are currently involved in this project and the scaleable nature of this solution makes further expansion practical.