iPod, iChat Help Radiologists Manage Medical Images

Searching for a way to sidestep the $100,000-plus price of workstations needed to view high-resolution images that require 3D rendering, radiologists at the University of California, Los Angeles turned to Apple technology for the solution.

In nine months, UCLAis Dr. Osman Ratib and Dr. Antoine Rosset developed OsiriX, an open-source application that allows radiologists to teleconference with images on a Mac using iChat. The platform boasts similar functionality to the six-figure workstations but at a fraction of the cost, CNET News.com reported.

Dr. Ratib, a strong advocate of open-source development, said they built the software using many read-made components, adding the environment and interface themselves.

In an interesting twist, after Appleis release of the iPod photo the software was modified to support the digital device, giving doctors an easy means to store the large images while also providing basic viewing on the go.

The response thus far has been tremendous. "Before weid showed it in any meeting, we had hundreds, and very soon thousands, of users," Dr. Ratib said. "We were that close to having Steve Jobs presenting it as a feature in the San Francisco keynote."

More information can be found on the OsiriX page as well as December 2004 story from the Radiological Society of North America.

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