We've had several requests for a new data type to store medical images and we are now at a point in our research and design that we'd like to hear from our larger HealthVault community. We've found that DICOM is the generally accepted format for storing medical images today so we've designed this data type to include structural and metadata similaities while limited the exposed data to what we believe is the most consumer friendly.
If you use DICOM today, those same images can be added to HealthVault in their native format using this data type. All the metadata stored in a DICOM file remains intact for all systems to reuse with this approach. By adding a level of structured XML that exposes some of this data, it allows for new and existing HealthVault applications to use the data without needing to fully parse the DICOM file or files.
There are a few scenarios we've targeted in the design of this data type:
We fully expect consuming applications to crack open the actual image files to get all the details of the study, series, but we hope that the defined schema will help make the decision on what to open a bit easier.
The image data stored using this data type will be large in both quantity and size and our current XML storage approach doesn't optimize for binary content like images. To help mitigate this, HealthVault provides seperate binary storage we call blob storage (blobs). Each instance of data in HealthVault can also include a blob of additional data and with the introduction of this data type, the HealthVault platform will support multiple named blobs per data instance. You'll find in this data type that we use blobs in a few places. Specifically, blobs are used to store the set of medical images, a directory listing all blob names for the original images, a collection of key images, and a preview image for a study, series, and images.
We have a few specific questions that we'd like your help in answering:
Take a look and let us know what you think by using the Data Types forum.
Medical Image Study type
A collection of medical images. DICOM data is stored in the named blob portion of the data type, and it is recommended that normal DICOM conventions are used for naming. An application may store XDS-i manifest information in XML format in the xds-i element.
The date and time the study was created. DICOM tags (0008,0020) and (0008,0030)
The name of the patient as contained in the medical image. DICOM tag (0010,0010)
A description of the study. DICOM tag (0008,1030)
A collection of series.
The reason for the study. DICOM tag (0032,1030)
The name of the blob holding a smaller version of the image suitable for web viewing or email. For example jpeg.
The important images in the study.
The study instance UID. DICOM tag (0020,000D)
Medical Image Study Series
The details describing a specific series of images.
The date and time that the image was acquired. DICOM tag: (0008,0022), (0008,0032)
A description of the series. DICOM tag (0008,103E)
The collection of images.
The name of the institution where the images were acquired. DICOM tag (0008,0080)
The physician who ordered the study. DICOM tag (0008,0090)
The method (or modality) in which the images were acquired. DICOM tag (0008,0060)
The body part that was imaged. DICOM tag (0018,0015)
The series instance UID. DICOM tag (0020, 000E)
Medical Image Study Series Image
Information about a single image in a series.
The name of the blob holding the original data for this image. DICOM tag (0008, 0018)