GASTROINTESTINAL ENDOSCOPY APPLICATIONS FOR STANDARDS IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND RESEARCH
The DICOM Explorer is a software that has been developed for the purpose of the Gaster project by Olympus Software Europe and allows the creation of DICOM objects made of endoscopic images and their description with the Minimal Standard Terminology. The DICOM Explorer is fully compatible with the Visible Light Module of the DICOM 3.0 (Supplement 16). In the DICOM Explorer, the data of the image and the text data are tagged with DICOM tags and stored within an object that is then transferred, using TCP/IP to the accepting database. The DICOM Explorer is a tool for communication between different systems that are able to use this format for exchange of data. The originality of the DICOM is in the fact that the data are taken from the original database, arranged in an object that fully describes the image in the exchange format of the DICOM 3.0 (Supplement 16 for Visible Light) and merges text data coming from the Minimal Standard Terminology to describe the content of the image. For the purpose of the Gaster project, the DICOM Explorer has been used as a tool to communicate with the central database and send images to it. This communication is established using the TCP/IP protocol. The DICOM Explorer has a flexible architecture, so that it can be adapted to different types of users, enabling for example, the transmission of patient's data, which was not the case in the Gaster project for confidentiality purposes. In the DICOM Explorer, the number of data fields is also flexible. Besides the main fields that contain the mandatory data describing the image itself, a lot of other fields can be customised, according to the user. The DICOM Explorer has been used by 10 University centres using different endoscopic workstations to send images to the database in Toulouse.
The ENDOBASE III application is a complete software for management of data in digestive endoscopy. All data pertaining to the endoscopic procedure, including capture of images and organisation of the work in the endoscopy unit are implemented. The software allows the generation of the endoscopic report, using the Minimal Standard Terminology, a structured language describing the main parts of the endoscopic report. It also contains a module for statistical analysis on data contained in the endoscopic report. For images, ENDOBASE III, as the Gaster application does, allows the capture of endoscopic images directly from the electronic videoendoscope and their storage in the computer, with a link established automatically with the procedure during which the images have been obtained. Images are stored in JPEG or TIFF format but can be exported in these formats or in most of the formats currently available for colour images. Moreover, the application allows the creation of DICOM objects that allow the export of the images and their exchange with systems using the DICOM protocol. Based on the work performed in the Gaster project, the application has been customised for use in several countries and different languages. The application has also a full compatibility with other endoscopic imaging systems and can be operated in a network environment. It is developed in its current version under the WINDOWS NT 4.0 operating system and is compatible with WINDOWS 2000 (Jan. 2001).