Agfa and GE demonstrate interoperability of globally distributed
30 July 2008
The first globally distributed demonstration of PACS interoperability
took place at the UK Radiological Congress (UKRC) in June in Birmingham,
between Agfa HealthCare and GE PACS systems.
CT scans were shared over the internet between an Agfa IMPAX picture
archiving and communication system (PACS) on the Agfa HealthCare stand
and a similar system on the GE stand, with interaction with systems in
France and the US, as part of an IHE XDS-I demonstration of web access
to DICOM Objects (WADO).
IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) aims to create a common
framework for the sharing of information between medical information
systems, such as PACS. XDS-I (cross-enterprise document sharing for
images) allows clinical documents to be distributed between and accessed
from different healthcare settings.
The demonstration let UKRC delegates see how IHE-compliant PACS make
it simple to exchange clinical images between a district general
hospital and a teaching hospital, for example, when a patient is booked
in for a specialist appointment. In the past, images would need to be
couriered or emailed between hospitals.
Visitors to the British Institute of Radiology stand at UKRC created
a patient record and picked various CT scans at the IHE stand, details
of which were then sent to the IBM index registry and repository based
in Montpellier, France.
When they arranged a specialist consultation at a teaching hospital
from the GE stand, the GE PACS instantly obtained an NHS Number from an
Initiate PIX Manager in Missouri, US, before locating the right CT scans
on the Agfa PACS by consulting the IBM systems. The images themselves
were then pulled from the Agfa IMPAX PACS and automatically displayed on
the GE system. Previous IHE demos in the UK used PACS, PIX Managers and
registries all based onsite.
“It worked well and people were very impressed,” said Niall Monaghan,
CEO of Radiation Consultancy Services and IHE-UK Secretary, who was one
of the volunteers running the IHE demo and represents radiology users.
“IHE in the UK ensures that different manufacturers’ products integrate
Grant Witheridge, national sales manager at Agfa HealthCare said: “We
were delighted to be involved in this unique demonstration of
interoperability. Helping make connectivity easier for our customers by
ensuring Agfa equipment and software is compatible with that of other
suppliers is a key part of Agfa HealthCare’s patient-centred approach.”