OsiriX use growing quickly

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The OsiriX platform is a fully interactive image navigation and visualization software product designed for display and analyze of large sets of 3D medical images. Osman Ratib, MD, PhD, chief of nuclear medicine at Hopiteaux Universitaires de Geneve in Switzerland, desired the open source software during his presentation on Thursday at RSNA 2006, “OsiriX Open Source Medical Imaging.”

Ratib began work on OsiriX in 2004, which has been “very successful in three years,” he said. There are more than 10,000 users and earlier this fall when version 2.6 was made available on a Saturday afternoon, at least 1,200 users downloaded it that day.

“It’s very exciting to watch these numbers,” he said. They represent a lot of academic institutions using OsiriX both for research and clinically.

Ratib provided a brief explanation of OsiriX, which was designed to be the fastest DICOM viewer available. Using OsiriX one can load 2,000 images in one second.

OsiriX is open source—the program and source code are free—to allow for wide distribution and input and feedback from users. Users continue to contribute to the software making it more and more robust. Ratib said contributions come from developers worldwide. Open source communication challenges the established communication paradigms and represents a new business model. Although users have been slow to come around, Ratib said, we are witnessing “the start of a new culture of open source communication.”

Ratib said he has been known to use four or five workstations to analyze one cardiac imaging study. OsiriX, however, provides tools that are not available with traditional PACS workstations so users can accomplish more than ever on just one workstation. OsiriX is more than a workstation, it is a communication platform, he said. Users can share a database with their peers in the same networks immediately. That allows for multicentric research since OsiriX can be used as a research server.