ISCAMI: a European Collaboration on PACS
Under the auspices of COMAC-BME, a joint European collaboration on PACS has been initiated in 1990 under the title Integrated Systems for Computer Assisted Management and Manipulation of Medical images or ISCAMI for short. This collaboration has participants from most of the (extended) EC countries, including the COST countries, and is due to run for two years. The main purpose of the project is to enable participants to communicate and exchange ideas, rather than funding research as such. However, four specific aims have been defined.
The first working group is intended to define the clinical requirements of a PACS system: what is it for, what response time is required in different clinical areas, what are the resolution and contrast requirements etc. It is NOT intended to define technical requirements (matrix size etc.) but rather to specify the clinical needs from which these technical requirements can be derived.
Working group 2 has the aim of trying to define and generate a series of test data sets, for use in evaluating PACS systems, and eventually in defining a sets of specifications for quality assurance of such systems. Clinical data, physical phantoms, and simulated phantoms are envisaged. These data sets would be circulated in digital form, and provide a test bed for the data exchange methods and protocols envisaged in PACS.
The third working group is intended to provide a set of recommendations about the installation of PACS systems and guidance for purchasers of such systems throughout their planned life (and replacement). This group is currently undertaking a survey of PACS users with a view to preparing a set of documents covering all practical aspects of purchasing, installing, running, maintaining, and replacing a PACS system.
Finally the fourth group is concerned with communications and multi-modality image matching. For demonstrating the communications facilities required in PACS, the Berkom system will be used. Data format and protocol specifications are being assessed, in particular with respect to acquiring data in 3-D form different image modalities such as CT, MR, PET etc. Using this data, various image matching methods are to be assessed.
The project as a whole has organized two scientific meetings and is planning two more in 1991 all of which are to be published. Links between ISCAMI and other related organizations (EuroPACS etc.) are being encouraged. A regular newsletter is also published.