Q. What is DICOM?
Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine is the standard for the communication and management of medical imaging information and related data. DICOM is most commonly used for storing and transmitting medical images enabling the integration of medical imaging devices such as scanners, servers, workstations, printers, network hardware, and PACS (picture archiving and communication systems) from multiple manufacturers.
Q. Why are DICOM standards important?
Properly executed, DICOM greatly enhances interoperability, which contributes to greater productivity, more security, and less downtime. Custom and proprietary tags are typically a hindrance in terms of interoperability: while they help device manufacturers handle internal metadata-related challenges, they tend to hinder other manufacturers’ ability to utilize the images unless the custom or proprietary tags are first removed.
Q. What is DICOMweb?
DICOMweb is a term applied to the family of RESTful DICOM services defined for sending, retrieving and querying for medical images and related information.The intent is to provide a light-weight mobile device and web browser friendly mechanism for accessing images, which can be implemented by developers who have minimal familiarity with the DICOM standard and which uses consumer application friendly mechanisms like http, JSON and media types (like “image/jpeg”) to the maximum extent possible.
Q. What is HL7?
HL7 is a set of international standards for transfer of clinical and administrative data between software applications used by various healthcare providers. HL7 standards support clinical practice and the management, delivery, and evaluation of health services.
Q. What is a FHIR RESTful API?
Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR, pronounced “fire”) is a standard describing data formats and elements (known as “resources”) and an application programming interface (API) for exchanging electronic health records (EHR). FHIR builds on previous data format standards from HL7, and is easier to implement because it uses a modern web-based suite of API technology, including a HTTP-based RESTful protocol.
Q. What is a RESTful API?
One of the most popular types of API is REST or, as they’re sometimes known, RESTful APIs. REST or RESTful APIs were designed to take advantage of existing protocols. While REST – or Representational State Transfer – can be used over nearly any protocol, when used for web APIs it typically takes advantage of HTTP. This means that developers have no need to install additional software or libraries when creating a REST API. One of the key advantages of REST APIs is that they provide a great deal of flexibility. Data is not tied to resources or methods, so REST can handle multiple types of calls, return different data formats and even change structurally with the correct implementation of hypermedia. This flexibility allows developers to build an API that meets your needs while also meeting the needs of very diverse customers.
Q. What kind of solutions does Dicom Systems provide?
Dicom Systems provides enterprise imaging solutions that simplify IT workflows and interoperability. The Unifier platform delivers functionality such as intelligent routing, HTTPS-based DICOM, and HL7 integration tools, DICOM Modality Worklist, archiving, and de-identification through on-premises, private cloud, and leading cloud providers. Dicom Systems is recognized by top healthcare enterprises, government agencies, and partners for next-generation enterprise imaging.
Q. What is the Dicom Systems Unifier platform?
Dicom Systems Unifer is a versatile interoperability platform that enables intelligent workflow and communication between disparate imaging systems and equipment and provides a scalable and reliable engine to transform and efficiently manage image data. You can think of Unifier as a Swiss Army knife for imaging departments: if there is a problem related to image data integration, transmission or management, Unifier has a feature that can solve it. The Unifier platform can perform many critical functions to power imaging workflows within and beyond a healthcare enterprise. Unifier fills the gaps in your enterprise imaging strategy from solving your workflow outliers, such as complex routing and load balancing, to providing an enterprise-grade DICOM Modality Worklist across multiple sites.
Q. What is AI image workflow orchestration?
At Dicom Systems, our technology has always been designed to function as a “universal adapter” for enterprise imaging, with interoperability as the guiding principle. To achieve this vision of nimble interoperability, the AI Conductor was designed as a Linux-base appliance, managed via a simple browser environment. By leveraging the industry standards discussed above, our platform integrates seamlessly with hospital information systems, including PACS, RIS and EHR.
In a 6-step process, images and other health information flow through the AI router platform as illustrated below:
- The AI router receives DICOM images or other imaging-related objects and scans all metadata as they are coming in
- AI router flags any predetermined metadata signaling that a set of imaging objects are candidates for one or several AI algorithms, some of which may be on prem, and others in a cloud. For cloud-based algorithms, the AI router platform can be programmed to automatically de-identify pixel and metadata in order to maintain strict HIPAA compliance.
- The AI router signals to the appropriate docker that a study has been identified for further processing by the algorithm
- The AI router pushes metadata via QIDO-RS and pixel data via WADO-RS to the appropriate docker
- The docker analyzes the data and returns a result back to the AI router via STOW-RS
- The AI router receives the results from the docker, translates the result into the appropriate standard expected by the end-user system: DICOM-SR to PACS and/or dictation system, HL7 or FHIR to EHR/EMR, DICOM overlays to the PACS
Q. Are you a PACS company?
No, we are not a PACS company, but we do integrate with many PACS and VNA companies. See our PACS integrations.
Q. Does Dicom Systems have a VNA (Vendor Neutral Archive)
Yes, Dicom Systems offers a VNA solution that is based on the Unifier platform, providing an affordable archiving and image viewing option for caregiver organizations looking to establish on-prem or Cloud-based archives, whether the purpose is to serve as the primary, business continuance or disaster recovery instance. Because Dicom Systems is fundamentally vendor neutral (we do not sell PACS or modalities), the Unifier VNA is natively vendor neutral.
Q. How do your solutions work with PACS?
Our Enterprise Imaging Unifier was created to achieve compatibility and improve workflow between various healthcare platforms providers. Dicom Systems solutions seamlessly integrate with your existing RIS, HIS, PACS or VNA, and their related information systems ensuring efficient and cost-effective communication across your networks. (link to new partners page)
Q. What types of organizations do you work with?
Hospital systems, large and small, medical groups, radiology and teleradiology groups, imaging centers, CROs, academic medical centers, children’s hospitals, and artificial intelligence developers.
Q. Where are your installations?
To date, Dicom Systems has hundreds of installations across the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, as well as an expanding presence in Europe, Africa, and Australia New Zealand. Our solutions are equipped to support healthcare providers of all sizes and areas of focus including hospitals, research labs, and centers, integrated delivery networks, technology integrators, and resellers—regardless of geography or bandwidth. We count Fortune 500 companies, Forbes 25 Most Profitable Hospitals, HIMSS Validated Level 6 & 7 Providers, and American College of Radiology Accredited Facility and “Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence” designees among our install base.
Q. How are Dicom Systems solutions priced?
Dicom Systems solutions are priced on an annual license model. Our solutions are cost-efficient, particularly when measured against the existing outdated and expensive technology still used by many enterprises. Learn more about how to purchase software and services.
Q. Do I have to purchase the whole system?
Our products were designed so that you only purchase the modules that you need. Dicom Systems solutions meet today’s medical imaging data and image challenges, as well as complete systems that provide maximum efficiency and return on investment. Setup a demo to learn more
Q. Which vendors do you work with?
Our proprietary software solutions are compatible with any existing technology that adheres to DICOM, DICOMweb, XDS, HL7, and FHIR standards. This unique aspect of our Unifier solutions has made Dicom Systems the choice of a growing number of medical imaging enterprises across the country.
Our AI integrations
Our Cloud Partners
Our PACS integrations
Our EMR/EHR Integrations
Our NLP integrations
Q. Will the installation of a Dicom Systems solution disrupt business?
Dicom Systems offers products that can be installed with a minimum of distraction and downtime. Our products are the closest you will come to “plug and play” solutions. Regardless of the type of Enterprise Imaging workflow Dicom Systems implements for your organization, the deployments are carefully orchestrated in collaboration with your IT team. Before any technology is installed, we go through a detailed SoW (Statement of Work) exercise to document the intended workflow as well as all the upstream and downstream dependencies related to our role. We also become acquainted with your IT organization’s change management rules and procedures governing IT environment modifications. In most cases, a dedicated test server is installed, pre-configured and tested ahead of go-live to ensure all aspects of the new solution have been covered. We then deploy the solution into production in close collaboration with your IT professionals. The vast majority of our deployments are VMware-based, and all the configurations are performed remotely.