Osirix is an open source DICOM viewer for Mac. This year at RSNA as usual the osirix team had many talks and demos. One of the talks happened to be in the session that I was also presenting in. The presentation that I listened to was about authoring teaching files using Osirix and other Mac applications and then publishing them to the web. The presenter also showed how simple tagging could be used to tag cases. Come on guys. This sucked.

The teaching files were authored by saving JPEG images and them using an apple web page generator with templates to make a web page that looks nice and upload to an apple site. This is the same single vendor approach that we have been fighting for 15 years in Radiology. Just because it is a mac and has shiny buttons does not make it better. Every piece that was showed can be done on Windows today. Support for the IHE TCE profile, which allows teaching files to be authored from inside the PACS and sent to any TCE aware teaching file was not discussed. Tagging was limited to a single persons tags. Have some imagination. Tagging is about sharing. I love del.icio.us. For anything that I tag I can see what other people used. I think that tagging has limited value when it is not social.

In the year 2006 we are trying to build interoperable software. We know we can build single vendor solutions that work. We can build them on any platform. The Osirix people should be looking to the web, not the Mac if they want to really push software in radiology. A collaborative teaching file written in AJAX on a platform like Zoho would be awesome. Allowing people access to your system is what we need. Another Osirix exhibit I saw should how using apple technologies two Osirix system can talk to each other through the Internet. Good Lord. Do the authors really think we are so stupid to think that this is some great breakthrough that apple and the osirix team have achieved. Frankly I am disgusted by what I saw. It is just someone saying "Me too, me too. Look what I can do." Nothing that was shown was original.

  1. Osirix is a pretty nice 3D workstation that is much more user friendly than some well-known big name commercial products. There is excellent support from the team (better than with most commercial products I have used). It’s extremely good value for money.

    Although everything in Osirix can probably be done with a Windows or Linux machine, I know of no comparable open-source 3D workstation.

    By the way, I’m a PC user, apart from the Mac I use for Osirix in one of the hospitals where I work.

  2. I have no problem with Osirix. I even like it. But the demos that they show up to RSNA with are for the most part very unimaginative and copying stuff from outside of radiology like tagging and then presenting it like they just had a brand new idea. There is no other comparable 3D workstation that is opensource. That being said Terarecon is far ahead and has the potential to pull away.

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