As a radiologist one needs to be at least a little tech savvy to optimize workflow. Here is a list of useful tools for radiology.
MacOS DICOM viewer
- Best DICOM software available for image interpretation and processing.
- Unfortunately ONLY available for the MacOS and is a paid software.
- Best viewed on 21.5/27 inch iMac systems.
- A good alternative for radiology centers who cannot afford the iMac PC are these small Mac Mini PC boxes. These are standalone CPU boxes , to which you can attach your own monitor and ports.
- Osirix is available as a bundled solution with iMacs. You can contact Indian vendors like this one.
- Excellent tutorials for using Osirix are available here: Osirix UK user group.
- You can download the free version of Osirix with limited functionality
- Good enough for basic viewing and processing. It has a nagging pop-up at the start that prompts to download the full version
- Download Osirix Lite
- Miele-LXIV is a DICOM workstation and viewer.
- The project started in November 2014 as a fork of the popular open source 32-bit project OsiriX, but it has been modified to become a 64-bit application and to remove many of the limitations of the 32-bit version.
- Was earlier known as Osirix-LXIV.
- Robust viewer with a host of features including 2D and 3D viewing and 64 bit DICOM printing. Here is the entire feature list.
- Available for free download in the Apple play store.
Windows DICOM viewers
- Best DICOM viewer for windows PC!
- Free for use.
- Simple user interface
- Does not have a lot of functions as that of Osirix/ Horos but it is a good DICOM viewer.
- Good viewer if you want to edit and extract images for your thesis / research paper from DICOM sets.
- Handy to read images from CDs got by patients from outside institutions.
- Download it here: Download Radiant viewer.
- You can also download create a portable version which can be run from a USB/ local disc. This is useful for institutes where installation of programs is blocked by the IT department.
Here are step-by-step instructions to install a portable version of the Radiant Viewer for Windows:
- Another free DICOM viewer for Windows.
- Interface is more clunky as compared to Radiant viewer.
- Advantage over Radiant viewer is that you can load multiple studies at one time and browse them sequentially.
- A good tool if you want to conduct a teaching course using DICOM image sets on a windows computer.
- Has a portable USB version as well.
- Download Micro DICOM viewer.
Online Dicom Viewers
PostDICOM Cloud PACS and Online DICOM Viewer
- Link: https://www.postdicom.com/
- FREE 50 GB cloud space.
- Store and view your images anywhere from the cloud.
- Zero foot print viewer.
- Standard DICOM tools for window level , Pan, Zoom, Rotation, Thickness Scroll, Negate, Rotate, Flip Vertical/Horizontal, Increase/Decrease Thickness, Zoom In/Out, Reset Functions. Also has the ability to reformat images in 3D with MPR (Multiplanar reconstruction) , MIP (maximum intensity projection) , Average IP and Volume reconstruction.
- Ability to view and share image folders. This is being used by Dr. Sameer of FRCR tutorials for teaching FRCR cases
- Supports all imaging modalities including:
- CT – Computed Tomography.
- MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
- CR – X Ray.
- MG – Mammography.
- US – Ultrasound.
- PET-CT fusion – Positron Emission Tomography–Computed Tomography.
- PET-MR fusion- Positron Emission Tomography–Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
- Intuitive interface with patient details on the dashboard.
- Works right from your browser with support for Windows, MacOS. Full functionality on mobile devices is an USP of this viewer!
Radiology Reporting tools:
Radiology reporting at almost all institutes is done on computers. Typing is often a nightmare for first year radiology residents. There is no escaping this so the best way is to find solutions.
The more time to save time on reporting the more time you have to interpret images.
- Needs no introduction.
- Best word processing software for reporting.
- One should learn basic hacks to cut down typing times. One of the best tool you can use is the AutoCorrect tool. You can save normal/ abnormal CT/MR/USG/Radiograph formats as shortcuts. For example I have saved a normal CT abdomen male study as a “nabdmale”. When I type the shortcut the entire normal template (with the formatting) will show up..In older versions you can also use the AutoComplete feature. Here is a video tutorial:
- No free version available, takes lot of space at times and slows the system at times.
Free alternatives to Word:
- If you work in a department with internet connectivity this is the best option.
- You don’t need to worry about data loss as Google automatically saves your edits online.
- It also so stores multiple versions of your documents so that you can go back to the previous version in case you want to.
- Also you can access it from multiple PCs as the documents are synced on the web platform.
- Free alternative to MS Office.
- Includes a free alternative to word, powerpoint and excel.
- You should save documents in the MS office formats (doc/ ppt / xls) to avoid conflicts while using it on other systems.
- Download it for free here: Download Open Office.
- Similar alternatives include:
- Standalone word processor.
- No need to install the entire MS Office / OpenOffice suite.
- Small program so won’t take up a lot of space.
- Download it here. AbiWord
- This is not a word processing software but its an alternative to the AutoCorrect/ AutoText option of MS Word that we discussed.
- Especially useful for radiology residents working in institutes with an online reporting system where the typing has to be done in a browser rather than a word processor.
- You can store your desired templates which will get triggered as you type the designated shortcuts. For eg You can store the format for acute pancreatitis as a short code “AP”. So when you type the short code the entire report will come up and you can then edit the specific findings in your particular case in the template.
- Quite handy and saves a lot of time.
- Works in word as well.
- Another cool thing is that you can export the shortcuts that you have saved and then import the same in other computers in your department as well.
- Here is a video tutorial:
Nuance Dragon Medical Practice Edition / PowerScribe:
- Best in the industry software for speech to text.
- Expensive but this is a once in a lifetime investment.
- The software adapts to the tone of your voice and your pronunciations. More you use it , the better it gets!
- Click here for a quick demo!
- You can buy the one with the microphone here: Dragon Medical Practice Edition, No. 2 with Powermic II or
- Or you can use any standard PC microphone with the one here: Nuance Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2
Google text-to-speech engine
- A free alternative to costly speech to text software.
- Simply use the speech to text feature on the Google keyboard in your smartphone.
- You can also use it on Google Docs online:
- Most of the radiology departments in India do not have EMR (Electronic Medical Records) currently. Radiology reports are usually saved in Word format , segregated month wise and modality wise. Often you need to find the previous report of a patient who has now come for a follow up. Doing that using the search function of Windows can be a pain if there are thousands of documents , which is usually the case for most radiology departments.
- Soultion? – IndexYourFiles (IFY)!
- What it does is index all the files in a particular directory and fastens the search process.
- It also support network shared drives. For eg. You can search for CT records of the patient from the MRI reporting computer , provided the folders are shared.
- Its a small but quite handy software and saves a lot of time.
- Whats good is that it even comes in a portable version so no need to install it.
- Click here for a demo.
- Click here to download.