Purpose: Physical-technical quality assurance is one of the essential tasks of the National Reference Centers in the German Breast Cancer Screening Program. For this purpose the mammography units are required to transfer the measured values of the constancy tests on a daily basis and all phantom images created for this purpose on a weekly basis to the reference centers. This is a serious logistical challenge. To meet these requirements, we developed an innovative software tool.
Materials and methods: By the end of 2005, we had already developed web-based software (MammoControl) allowing the transmission of constancy test results via entry forms. For automatic analysis and transmission of the phantom images, we then introduced an extension (MammoControl DIANA). This was based on Java, Java Web Start, the NetBeans Rich Client Platform, the Pixelmed Java DICOM Toolkit and the ImageJ library.
Results: MammoControl DIANA was designed to run locally in the mammography units. This allows automated on-site image analysis. Both results and compressed images can then be transmitted to the reference center. We developed analysis modules for the daily and monthly consistency tests and additionally for a homogeneity test.
Conclusion: The software we developed facilitates the immediate availability of measurement results, phantom images, and DICOM header data in all reference centers. This allows both targeted guidance and short response time in the case of errors. We achieved a consistent IT-based evaluation with standardized tools for the entire screening program in Germany.
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.