Some time ago we announced the availability of a DICOM viewer for Nextcloud. DICOM files are used widely in the medical sector for viewing and storing medical images like those for radiography, mammography or MRI with embedded patient information. The application was developed by Aysel Afsar Ozkan and has already been picked up by some professionals in the field! There have been recent improvements as well and we wanted to share a status update.
Since its initial release, the DICOM viewer has been improved in a few areas. This started with version 0.3, which introduced a Download/Capture Tool. This is very useful to export images out of the DICOM files, for example to share with the patient so he/she can look at them without the need for special software. The tool allows including annotations (or not) and then lets the image be downloaded to the users’ machine as PNG or JPEG file. Aysel noted that she plans to also add the option to simply store the image in Nextcloud for easy and secure sharing.
The 0.4 release improved support for instances running in subfolders, made the viewer show orientation markers on images and fixed some issues. 0.5 also fixed an issue.
Aysel has been encouraged by the interest on github from users, including several medical professionals like one radiology technician, asking questions and reporting issues. She has set up a Patreon account where people can support her work, but given the specialized needs, she’s also eager to pursue consulting or research work with Nextcloud customers.
Much of the data collected and viewed in hospitals and other medical facilities are still on paper, creating problems for collaboration and efficiency. Hence, the digitization of health data is accelerating.
The healthcare industry has unique challenges when it comes to handling data. Sensitive patient information such as a patient’s medical history, often termed Protected Health Information (PHI), needs to be available at a moments notice. Immediate access to health data saves lives. However, health data is also estimated to be worth a hundred times more than credit card details, making it a popular target for computer criminals (for more details, see our Healthcare Industry Analysis here.
Using remote cloud solutions to handle data is a risky proposition. Hospitals should instead control patient health data with an internal IT team rather than depend on far-away, often overseas IT providers. In this respect, Nextcloud provides a unique solution for the healthcare industry. When your organization decides that it is time to rely on a secure, self-hosted solution for sensitive data and DICOM handling, you can visit our Healthcare industry page or directly contact the Nextcloud sales team for information.
If you want to support Aysel’s work, you can! She can be found on Patreon.