Web 2.0 spins new path to image integration

June 10, 2008

Web 2.0 is a buzzword for emerging web technologies designed to enhance information sharing, boost creativity, and promote collaboration among users.

Web 2.0 is a buzzword for emerging web technologies designed to enhance information sharing, boost creativity, and promote collaboration among users.A new paper documents how radiologists can use these applications to dynamically retrieve and integrate pertinent digital images into radiology websites (J Digit Imaging 2008 May 7 [Epub ahead of print]). "Our work shows that these techniques can be applied to radiology web information resources," said Dr. Charles E. Kahn of the radiology department at the Medical College of Wisconsin. "They can make the web more interactive by allowing web developers to easily incorporate a context-sensitive image gallery into their documents." Web 2.0 technologies such as AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) allow information from various websites to appear in one browser window. The goal of AJAX technologies is to permit software to interact with the web server behind the scenes to make the web applications more responsive and interactive. "An automatically updated gallery of relevant images can be included by inserting just one line of HTML code," Kahn said. "The use of a single, uniform line of HTML code makes it extremely easy for web developers to incorporate an image gallery into their documents."Relevant images from the American Roentgen Ray Society's GoldMiner image search engine, which incorporates over 175,000 images from 228 professional journals, can be integrated into text-only web pages on a completely independent website. Kahn's paper documents how GoldMiner images can be retrieved and integrated into web documents on demand."The goals are to automatically integrate relevant images based on the content of the target document and to make the technology transparent, so the user can concentrate on the subject matter, rather than on the technological platform," Kahn said.

Several Web 2.0 applications already provide interactive, collaborative web-based radiology resources, including these examples of multi-author radiology information sites:

  • RadiologyWiki (www.radiologywiki.org)
  • RadsWiki (www.radswiki..net)
  • Radiopaedia (www.radiolpaedia.org)

Kahn's group itself is populating the Web 2.0 roster with a new interactive tool called Hotlight, which adds value to medical web pages such as journal articles.

"Hotlight lets readers double-click on a word or phrase to instantly look up the term and definition in the RadLex radiology lexicon, perform a literature search, or view relevant images," Kahn said.