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

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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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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 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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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.
  
=== The MIRC Community ===
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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.
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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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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=== MIRC CTP ===
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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.  
  
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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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.
  
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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=== MIRC TFS ===
*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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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.
*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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*Some commercial teaching file systems also support the MIRC query mechanism, allowing them to participate in a MIRC community.
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=== MIRC Hardware Considerations ===
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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.
For guidance on choosing hardware for a MIRC site running the RSNA MIRC implementation, see [[MIRC Hardware Considerations]].
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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.
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There are several ways to set up a teaching file site with TFS:
  
=== MIRC Teaching File System ===
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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
For instructions on obtaining and installing a new teaching file system using the RSNA MIRC implementation, see [[MIRC Articles]]. The top-level article, [[MIRC]], provides all the information necessary to get a site up and running.
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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 Trials Software  ===
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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 project has developed a suite of tools to support both single-site and multi-site clinical trials. The primary tool is CTP. See [[CTP Articles]] for a list of articles on CTP and its use in clinical trials and other applications. The top-level article, [[CTP-The RSNA Clinical Trial Processor]], provides full configuration information for the program.
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=== Getting Help ===
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=== Other MIRC Tools ===
If you have questions, you can post your question to the [http://forums.rsna.org/forumdisplay.php?forumid=9 MIRC Forums]. You can also subscribe to the [[MIRC Mailing List]], and post your questions there.
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The [[Downloads]] page provides links to articles on several other MIRC-related tools.
  
=== Tools ===
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=== Hardware Considerations ===
The [[Downloads]] article lists several useful tools.
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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]].
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=== Getting Help ===
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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].

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.