Distributing medical images with internet technologies: a DICOM web server and a DICOM java viewer

Radiographics. Mar-Apr 2000;20(2):581-90. doi: 10.1148/radiographics.20.2.g00mc18581.


With the advent of filmless radiology, it becomes important to be able to distribute radiologic images digitally throughout an entire hospital. A new approach based on World Wide Web technologies was developed to accomplish this objective. This approach involves a Web server that allows the query and retrieval of images stored in a Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) archive. The images can be viewed inside a Web browser with use of a small Java program known as the DICOM Java Viewer, which is executed inside the browser. The system offers several advantages over more traditional picture archiving and communication systems (PACS): It is easy to install and maintain, is platform independent, allows images to be manipulated and displayed efficiently, and is easy to integrate with existing systems that are already making use of Web technologies. The system is user-friendly and can easily be used from outside the hospital if a security policy is in place. The simplicity and flexibility of Internet technologies makes them highly preferable to the more complex PACS workstations. The system works well, especially with magnetic resonance and computed tomographic images, and can help improve and simplify interdepartmental relationships in a filmless hospital environment.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Security
  • Computer Systems
  • Data Display
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Internet*
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Radiology Information Systems*
  • Software
  • Systems Integration
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • User-Computer Interface