Customizing Alfresco as a repository for medical images
Customizing Alfresco as a repository for
Doc. v rc0.1 - 21/05/09
Wildan Maulana | wildan [at] tobethink.com
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THE ICE Projects
• ICE stands for Image Collaboration Environment. The goal
of the ICE project is to provide researchers a flexible,
stable, reliable and user-friendly collaboration system for
• The ICE project will deliver a solution that will be able to
support different components:
– Image acquisition
– Image display and interpretation
• It will enable the users to upload images into a repository
in which they can examine images and add comments.
• The acquisition of images will support the digital medical
imaging modalities such as CT, MRI, PET, SPECT, ... Most of
these devices use the Digital Imaging and Communication
in Medicine (DICOM) standard. This is an international
standard of definitions and methods for transferring
information and images between devices.
Image Display and Interpretation
• Users have to be able to use interactive functions to
perform various image manipulation and image
processing actions like zoom and pan, image
orientation, magnification, gray scale inversion, ...
• ICE can be used to pass images to local image
processing workstations on which the images can be
analyzed with specific tools.
• After the interpretation of the images, the user has to
be able to give some comments. In this way it is
possible to start a sort of discussion between
different researchers on a specific image.
• ICE should offer long-term and short-term storage.
The short-term storage can be divided in two levels:
– The new and most used files can be placed on a
fast hard disk, images that are not often used
will be placed on a slower disk. This can be
done with a Hierarchical Storage Management
(HSM) strategy. The software with HSM
functionality manages the migration of stored
images and data between the high-speed disk
for the frequently used images and the slower
disk for images that are not used that much.
– The long-term storage can be done with a
distant archive like an off-line tape library
• A powerful administration provides low maintenance
for the administrators. This component is also
responsible for strict legal requirements of the FDA
(Federal Food Agency in the USA).
• The administrators must be able to maintain the
system in a structured, well organised manner.
• JHove (the JSTOR/Harvard Object Validation Environment) is
an extensible framework that is developed by JSTOR and the
Harvard University Library. JHove uses a module for each file
format. Howerver, JHove does not support any medical image
format. Therefore we had to write extra modules for medical
image formats (DICOM, Analyze 7,5 and LSM).
• DICOM files must also be validated against VRS rules
(Validation Rule Set). These rules specify the values that the
metadata fields must contain, depending of the interest of the
scientist. To achieve this, we had to program an extra utility
in Alfresco based on an existing functionality of the
proprietary software EXC.
• One of the biggest advantages of using open-source software
is the ability to use community projects, like the Image
Finder. This Alfresco extension can perform a search for
similar images (color, texture, etc.). We incorporated this
extension in Alfresco and described how it can be used for
medical reseach purposes.
• Customizing Alfresco as a repository for medical images
, Rachid Choukry, Katholieke Hogeschool Kempen