MIRC users around the world unite

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Adam E. Flanders, MD, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital provided an overview of the Medical Imaging Resource Center (MIRC) in a presentation Friday called MIRC and Electronic Teaching Files.

Radiology teaching files are usually some variety of "organized repositories of clinical images" and associated data that are being held for teaching, as a reference, or for some other purpose, Flanders said. The storage of these teaching files began rather crudely and could generally not be shared. Eventually systems were created so that the files could be shared, largely thanks to digital cameras, personal computers, web browsers, and web servers via existing PACS.
MIRC was developed as a "turnkey" approach developed through sponsorship by RSNA. MIRC is essentially a software tool, built from non-proprietary technology at no cost to members, which can be used for indexing a system of access for these modern teaching files, said Flanders.
It is basically a fairly simple tool that looks like a standard form-based, web-interface for authoring files, performing data queries, uploading information, or linking to external web sites. The usual display formats that are common in most web browsers are supported such as JPEG, GIF, and PNG. However, one big difference with the MIRC software is the support of native DICOM.
How much access you have to other data, and how much access other people have to your data, is relative to how much you want to share, Flanders pointed out. This software is entirely scalable so that you could go with the "selfish-mode" as Flanders described it in which only one user supplies information, or you can go with a much larger network within a department, or include the entire world.
Flanders also provided a preview of a new version of MIRC to be delivered later this year that includes an improved software interface for ease of use and increased editing and authoring functionality.  
For more information, visit: www.rsna.org/mirc/.