Preserving Legacy Images With a DICOM Converter

It’s a problem that virtually everyone who works with computers and digital media must deal with; what to do with old and outdated media after hardware software and operating systems have undergone multiple upgrades – or worse, attempting to read a file that is in a format no longer supported. When it comes to medical imaging, the DICOM converter provides solutions when it comes to reading older files.

It’s Easy To Convert to DICOM

Only fifteen years ago, capturing a medical procedure on analog video was state-of-the-art – but modern digital video has made videotape a relic. In addition, videotapes deteriorate over time, and the picture quality on a digital monitor can be extremely poor. The DICOM image converter allows one to transfer all types medical images for archiving in the DICOM format.

The primary advantage of a DICOM image converter is that your clinic or private practice will not need to spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars that it would otherwise cost to upgrade and/or replace your older, but still serviceable imaging equipment.

How It Works

DICOM is basically an image file format, similar to .jpeg, .gif, .png or .tiff files. Applications such as Photoshop or GIMP can easily convert images among the more common formats, but DICOM was developed specifically for medical imaging, and therefore contains information that is not usually part of common image formats.

The DICOM image converter consists of an inexpensive piece of hardware into which the user feeds any medical image, such as an x-ray, MRI, mammography image, etc. The DICOM converter then translates the image into the DICOM format; it can then be uploaded to a server or PC, a picture archive and communication system (PACS), and saved to portable media such as a DVD. Any medical image that you convert to DICOM file format can then be read by any web browser across multiple platforms (provided the host PC has the proper software loaded).

DICOM Image Converter Choices

There are several different companies that offer various ways to convert DICOM files. The Lumen System is a user-friendly DICOM converter by which non-DICOM video can uploaded to any location on the health care facility’s intranet or a specified location on the Internet (i.e., a specialty clinic or the PC of a distant colleague involved in a consultation).

The TIMS System provides a more advanced way to convert DICOM files; this device will convert any medical image and upload it to a PACS, where the image can be archived, distributed and enhanced if necessary.

The DICOM Exporter is yet another type of DICOM image converter which allows the user to convert to DICOM any medical image or video to the most common web image formats (.jpeg, ,mpg, etc.), which can then be uploaded across an intranet to a clinic’s digital archive, where it can be readily accessed by authorized personnel.

Greening The Industry

Another reason to convert to DICOM is to reduce paper and chemical waste associated with standard modalities. The DICOM converter is a large step toward a “paperless” operation in addition to being far more cost effective in terms of material and space. An investment in the hardware required to convert DICOM files is an investment not only in your health care facility, but an investment in the planet as well.