The Institute of Computer Science of Masaryk University has been cooperating since 1999 with a number of hospitals in the implementation of information and communication technologies in the field of acquisition, transmission, long-term archiving and display of digital medical image information. The collaboration represents a number of coordinated activities and projects that led to the construction of a large archive of medical image information and their accessibility via a computer network. Information is gained in normal operation from diagnostic devices such as ultrasound, digital mammograff, magnetic resonance, CT, RTG, and many others. The MeDiMed project creates the conditions for the widest possible access to and exchange of these medical imaging data that arise or are already in existence, but so far they are only used to a limited extent or only for a short time (without archiving), using existing means and equipment of healthcare facilities
The aim of the MeDiMed project is to make use of the possibilities of current information technologies and medical informatics both for improving the quality of medical surgery and medical care as well as improving the conditions for medical research and teaching of students.
Activities within the project are directed to three areas
- teaching and research in the field of medical image information,
- the exchange of medical imaging information between healthcare facilities,
- support of routine processes in the field of medical image processing (eg acquisition, accessibility, reliable long-term archiving).
Opportunities for cooperation
- joint projects
- communication with a foreign partner
The history of the MeDiMed project
As a base of the archive, a Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) was developed at the end of 1999 to process, transmit and archive image data (static and dynamic) in real time; In the same year, the first ultrasound modalities were also added. These were the interconnection of workplaces within Brno University Hospital (Grain Market - Maternity Hospital and Cernopolni - Children's Hospital). Data transfer between these sites started with a dedicated ATM network and was later on
One of the first key results of the project was to reach agreement among all cooperating parties on the necessity of using the DICOM standard; this was supported by the efforts of hospitals to have new diagnostic devices already equipped with this interface. In the second half of 2000, magnetic resonance was connected, at the Faculty Hospital at Sv. Anny. This device was the first to contain the DICOM output. In 2001, other methods equipped with the DICOM interface were gradually added to the Masaryk Oncological Institute; it was a digital mammograph, a computer tomograph, and three ultrasounds.
An important result of 2001 was the construction of a central server workplace of the archive in the secured part of the new computer hall of the Institute of Computer Science of Masaryk University (Botanická 68a) (the hall itself and the workplace was officially opened on December 6, 2001). Due to the need for maximum security of sensitive data on servers and archiving devices, the workplace was installed in a separate, physically separate and locked section of the hall.
In January 2002, the routine operation of the MeDiMed solution was initiated at the DCI. An absolutely crucial condition for the implementation of this project was the existence of a reliable dedicated high-speed computer network linking the locations of all cooperating medical facilities. This solution is a pilot project in the sense that medical information is stored out of the hospital area and accessible by a reliable computer network.
Since 2003, most hospitals in Brno have joined the MeDiMed solution. At the same time, remote faculty and district hospitals within the Czech Republic joined the project.