Difference between revisions of "MIRC Overview - CTP and TFS"

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<big>'''Welcome to the MIRC Wiki'''</big>
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RSNA launched the MIRC project in 2000, under the direction of the Radiology Informatics Committee, in order to provide an Internet-based source of medical imaging tools to the radiology community. MIRC has evolved as an open source project that relies on contributions from both users and developers. MIRC software tools are provided free of charge for use by the radiology community.
  
=== The MIRC Project ===
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The early releases of MIRC software let radiology sites create and manage libraries of teaching files and share them with other sites, so that a user could access cases from sites around the Internet as if they were contained in a single library. MIRC sites can store and serve all kinds of digital informationteaching files, clinical and technical documents, electronic presentations, and imaging datasets for research and clinical trials.
The MIRC project was initiated by the RSNA Radiology Informatics Committee to construct a library of medical information, globally accessible to the imaging community through the Internet. The project has evolved to support communities of cooperating libraries, individually managed by healthcare and educational institutions, whose content can be accessed by a user as if it were a single library. The libraries can provide all kinds of digital information, including teaching files, clinical and technical documents, electronic presentations, and imaging datasets for research and clinical trials.  
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The RSNA manages an open-source project that has produced software making it easy to install a system for teaching files and clinical trials at no cost. Numerous other developers have produced complete or partial MIRC implementations.
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Over time, as the use of MIRC for exchange of images for clinical trials became more prevalent, it became increasingly clear that the needs of clinical trials users required a different set of features from those of teaching file users. Thus, MIRC came to offer two distinct, but related software products: the MIRC Teaching File System (TFS) and the MIRC Clinical Trials Processor (CTP). This Wiki provides information on both of these software tools, and a few other related tools, including instructions on their installation and use.
  
=== The MIRC Community ===
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=== MIRC CTP ===
Many MIRC communities have arisen - some within institutions and some shared globally. The RSNA maintains a MIRC site that provides access to libraries around the world.
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Radiology sites participating in multisite clinical trials use CTP to manage, process and transmit medical images and associated information. CTP is a highly configurable and extensible application. It features processing pipelines that imaging datasets can be passed through to prepare them for use in research. Notably it offers very powerful pipeline stages for anonymization of DICOM data. CTP is used to connect field centers with principal investigator sites to facilitate the aggregation of research data.  
  
Any MIRC site can function as an access point for users, called a query service, or an indexed information library, called a storage service, or both. A query service provides a point of access to a MIRC community. It provides a query form to the user, distributes the search criteria to all selected storage services, collates the responses, and presents them to the user.  A storage service responds to the query received from the query service, searches its index for documents meeting the search criteria, and returns abstracts and locations of the matching documents to the query service.
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This Wiki offers numerous articles for developers and users on various aspects of CTP, which are gathered in the index of [[MIRC CTP Articles]]. The top-level article, [[MIRC CTP]], provides complete instructions on installing and configuring the program.
  
Authors on a storage service can use a MIRC-defined format to construct teaching files and other documents in a common structure that allows libraries to index the documents in medically meaningful ways. The indexing mechanism provides users great flexibility in searching the MIRC community. Users can perform free-text searches on the contents of documents as well as structured searches on patient criteria (e.g., sex, age), image criteria (e.g., modality, anatomical region, storage format, compression), diagnosis and other codes, through a standard web browser.
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=== MIRC TFS ===
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Many radiology sites around the world have established MIRC TFS sites. Some share their content via the Internet, while others provide access only to local users. RSNA itself maintains a TFS site that provides access to several different TFS libraries.
  
There are several ways for an individual or an institution to establish a system that can participate in a MIRC community:
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Any TFS site can function as an access point for users, called a query service, or an indexed information library, called a storage service, or both. A query service provides a point of access to a set of TFS libraries. It provides a query form to the user, distributes the search criteria to all selected storage services, collates the responses, and presents them to the user. A storage service responds to the query received from the query service, searches its index for documents meeting the search criteria, and returns abstracts and locations of the matching documents to the query service.
*The RSNA MIRC software provides both a query service and a storage service as well as support for the MIRC-defined authoring format.
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Authors on a storage service can use a defined format to construct teaching files and other documents in a common structure that allows libraries to index the documents using medically significant terminology.The indexing mechanism provides users great flexibility in searching TFS libraries. Users can perform free-text searches on the contents of documents as well as structured searches on patient criteria (e.g., sex, age), image criteria (e.g., modality, anatomical region, storage format, compression), diagnosis and other codes, through a standard web browser.
*An existing teaching file system can be modified to use its internal database to provide an index of its documents, requiring only the construction of the software layer necessary to respond to a MIRC query.
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There are several ways to set up a teaching file site with TFS:
*Some commercial teaching file systems also support the MIRC query mechanism, allowing them to participate in a MIRC community.
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=== User's Manual ===
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The RSNA MIRC implementation has numerous components for accessing, creating, and managing documents and files.
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Information on how to use the RSNA MIRC software is collected in a [[MIRC_User%27s_Manual|separate article]].
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=== Administrator's Manual ===
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* Use the TFS software as a query service, a storage service, and authoring tool to create teaching files in the MIRC-defined authoring format
The RSNA MIRC implementation is designed to minimize management effort. A [[MIRC_Administrator%27s_Manual|separate article]] describes how to set up a MIRC site using the software and how to configure it to meet the needs of its users.
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* Modify an existing teaching file system to use its internal database to provide an index of its documents and add a layer of software to enable it to respond to a MIRC query
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* Install one of the commercial teaching file systems that support the MIRC query mechanism, allowing them to share information with other MIRC sites.
  
=== Clinical Trial Administrator's Manual ===
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This Wiki offers an abundance of information on installing and using TFS, listed in the index of [[MIRC TFS Articles]]. The top-level article, [[MIRC TFS]], provides all the information necessary to get a site up and running. In addition, there is a series of how-to articles, including instructional videos, available on [http://www.rsna.org/tfs.aspx the RSNA Website's MIRC page].
The RSNA MIRC implementation includes a powerful suite of tools to support both single-site and multi-site clinical trials. A [[Clinical Trial Administrator's Manual|separate article]], intended for clinical trial administrators, provides details on configuring the software for a trial. Some of the information may also be useful for MIRC site administrators who want to enable DICOM communication with PACS or modalities and who need to configure the system to manage PHI in accordance with HIPAA regulations.
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=== Developer's Manual ===
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=== Other MIRC Tools ===
The RSNA MIRC implementation is an open source project. Developers are welcome to download the software, modify it for their own purposes, and to participate in the extension of the software for the entire community.  
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The [[Downloads]] page provides links to articles on several other MIRC-related tools.
  
There are several separate articles which may be of use in this context:
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=== Hardware Considerations ===
*[[The_RSNA_MIRC_Source_Code|The RSNA MIRC Source Code]] describes the RSNA CVS repository and how to obtain the code from it. It also describes how to build the software using Ant.
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MIRC tools are designed to run on standard, inexpensive current generation hardware. For guidance on choosing hardware for a MIRC site running TFS or CTP, see [[MIRC Hardware Considerations]].
*[[Implementing_an_External_Database_Interface_for_MIRC_Clinical_Trials|Implementing an External Database Interface for MIRC Clinical Trials]] describes how to interface an external database to the Database Export Service on a storage service used for a clinical trial.
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All MIRC XML files are described by schema documents:
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=== Getting Help ===
*[[The MIRCdocument Schema]] describes all the elements in a MIRCdocument.
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Ask questions and post feedback by joining the [https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/rsnas-ctpmirc-user-group RSNA CTP/MIRC User Group].
*[[The MIRCquery Schema]] describes the XML object that carries a query from a query service to a storage service.
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*[[The MIRCqueryresult Schema]] describes the XML object that carries query results from a storage service back to a query service.
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*[[The MIRC Protocol for Document Exchange]] describes the packaging of a MIRCdocument for exporting from one MIRC site or importing into another one.
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*[[The Storage Service List Schema]] describes the XML object for exchanging lists of storage services among query services.
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=== Special Notes ===
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=== Tools ===
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The RSNA MIRC project has developed several tools which are not part of the MIRC site software but which are useful as stand-alone applications in MIRC-related projects. The source code for all the tools is part of [[the RSNA MIRC Source Code]]. The key ones are:
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*DicomEditor: a tool for examining DICOM objects and for testing anonymization scripts for clinical trials. This tool is also useful for correcting certain problems in DICOM objects.
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*FileSender: a tool for transmitting files of various types using the DICOM, HTTP, and HTTPS protocols. This tool includes a zip unpacking feature that is very useful when managing large groups of images in multi-centeer clinical trials.
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*HttpTest: a tool for testing HTTP connections. This tool is useful for testing the connection of a remote image acquisition site to a principal investigator site in a clinical trial, especially when the remote site is behind a proxy server.
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*DicomRouter: a general tool for routing DICOM transmissions to one or more destinations depending on their contents.
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*ExportManager: an implementation of the IHE TCE integration profile, providing a very powerful coupling between PACS diagnostic workstations and MIRC.
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*[[MIRC Powerpoint Tool|PowerpointTool]]: a Powerpoint plug-in that saves presentations as MIRCdocuments on a MIRC server.
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Latest revision as of 22:04, 21 April 2016

RSNA launched the MIRC project in 2000, under the direction of the Radiology Informatics Committee, in order to provide an Internet-based source of medical imaging tools to the radiology community. MIRC has evolved as an open source project that relies on contributions from both users and developers. MIRC software tools are provided free of charge for use by the radiology community.

The early releases of MIRC software let radiology sites create and manage libraries of teaching files and share them with other sites, so that a user could access cases from sites around the Internet as if they were contained in a single library. MIRC sites can store and serve all kinds of digital information: teaching files, clinical and technical documents, electronic presentations, and imaging datasets for research and clinical trials.

Over time, as the use of MIRC for exchange of images for clinical trials became more prevalent, it became increasingly clear that the needs of clinical trials users required a different set of features from those of teaching file users. Thus, MIRC came to offer two distinct, but related software products: the MIRC Teaching File System (TFS) and the MIRC Clinical Trials Processor (CTP). This Wiki provides information on both of these software tools, and a few other related tools, including instructions on their installation and use.

1 MIRC CTP

Radiology sites participating in multisite clinical trials use CTP to manage, process and transmit medical images and associated information. CTP is a highly configurable and extensible application. It features processing pipelines that imaging datasets can be passed through to prepare them for use in research. Notably it offers very powerful pipeline stages for anonymization of DICOM data. CTP is used to connect field centers with principal investigator sites to facilitate the aggregation of research data.

This Wiki offers numerous articles for developers and users on various aspects of CTP, which are gathered in the index of MIRC CTP Articles. The top-level article, MIRC CTP, provides complete instructions on installing and configuring the program.

2 MIRC TFS

Many radiology sites around the world have established MIRC TFS sites. Some share their content via the Internet, while others provide access only to local users. RSNA itself maintains a TFS site that provides access to several different TFS libraries.

Any TFS site can function as an access point for users, called a query service, or an indexed information library, called a storage service, or both. A query service provides a point of access to a set of TFS libraries. It provides a query form to the user, distributes the search criteria to all selected storage services, collates the responses, and presents them to the user. A storage service responds to the query received from the query service, searches its index for documents meeting the search criteria, and returns abstracts and locations of the matching documents to the query service. Authors on a storage service can use a defined format to construct teaching files and other documents in a common structure that allows libraries to index the documents using medically significant terminology.The indexing mechanism provides users great flexibility in searching TFS libraries. Users can perform free-text searches on the contents of documents as well as structured searches on patient criteria (e.g., sex, age), image criteria (e.g., modality, anatomical region, storage format, compression), diagnosis and other codes, through a standard web browser. There are several ways to set up a teaching file site with TFS:

  • Use the TFS software as a query service, a storage service, and authoring tool to create teaching files in the MIRC-defined authoring format
  • Modify an existing teaching file system to use its internal database to provide an index of its documents and add a layer of software to enable it to respond to a MIRC query
  • Install one of the commercial teaching file systems that support the MIRC query mechanism, allowing them to share information with other MIRC sites.

This Wiki offers an abundance of information on installing and using TFS, listed in the index of MIRC TFS Articles. The top-level article, MIRC TFS, provides all the information necessary to get a site up and running. In addition, there is a series of how-to articles, including instructional videos, available on the RSNA Website's MIRC page.

3 Other MIRC Tools

The Downloads page provides links to articles on several other MIRC-related tools.

4 Hardware Considerations

MIRC tools are designed to run on standard, inexpensive current generation hardware. For guidance on choosing hardware for a MIRC site running TFS or CTP, see MIRC Hardware Considerations.

5 Getting Help

Ask questions and post feedback by joining the RSNA CTP/MIRC User Group.