The digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) protocol is the leading standard for image data management in healthcare. Imaging biomarkers and image-based surrogate endpoints in clinical trials and medical registries require DICOM viewer software with advanced functionality for visualization and interfaces for integration. In this paper, a comprehensive evaluation of 28 DICOM viewers is performed. The evaluation criteria are obtained from application scenarios in clinical research rather than patient care. They include (i) platform, (ii) interface, (iii) support, (iv) two-dimensional (2D), and (v) three-dimensional (3D) viewing. On the average, 4.48 and 1.43 of overall 8 2D and 5 3D image viewing criteria are satisfied, respectively. Suitable DICOM interfaces for central viewing in hospitals are provided by GingkoCADx, MIPAV, and OsiriX Lite. The viewers ImageJ, MicroView, MIPAV, and OsiriX Lite offer all included 3D-rendering features for advanced viewing. Interfaces needed for decentral viewing in web-based systems are offered by Oviyam, Weasis, and Xero. Focusing on open source components, MIPAV is the best candidate for 3D imaging as well as DICOM communication. Weasis is superior for workflow optimization in clinical trials. Our evaluation shows that advanced visualization and suitable interfaces can also be found in the open source field and not only in commercial products.
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Haak, D., Page, CE. & Deserno, T.M. A Survey of DICOM Viewer Software to Integrate Clinical Research and Medical Imaging. J Digit Imaging 29, 206–215 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10278-015-9833-1
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