Will DIN-PACS also bolster private sector?It has become fashionable for many PACS market participants to pooh-pooh the pioneering role the military played in fostering acceptance of large-scale PACS. While the Medical Diagnostic Imaging Support
It has become fashionable for many PACS market participants to pooh-pooh the pioneering role the military played in fostering acceptance of large-scale PACS. While the Medical Diagnostic Imaging Support project was indeed expensive, filmless environments were largely pipe dreams in the minds of vendors until the initiative was launched.
Although other sites such as the Baltimore VA Medical Center were invaluable, the MDIS project proved that PACS and soft-copy reading were clinically viable. Digital image management technology has advanced exponentially beyond the proprietary equipment employed in the early 1990s, but much of the hard-earned experience gained by the military paved the way for broader customer understanding of PACS issues and benefits.
Now the military, via its Digital Imaging Network-Picture Archiving and Communications systems project, is taking the MDIS dream one step further. In addition to filmless hospitals, the military wants integration between PACS and other healthcare information systems, as well as enterprise-wide connectivity with other facilities. While the military's spending plans are impressive, the emphasis of the DIN-PACS project on integration of healthcare information systems could prove to have the greater impact on the larger market. As the two teams of DIN-PACS vendors implement these kinds of networks, it is unlikely that other PACS companies will allow their systems integration capability and compliance with standards to fall by the wayside. With this level of competition, the market-and the customer-can only benefit.
-Erik L. Ridley, Editor