The arrival of computers and data networks in the medical environment, besides simplifying the access to patient data and related services, has strongly contributed to improve the quality and decision taking in healthcare. Digital Medical archives and databases are one of the most important improvements that, although still presenting a few limitations, significantly contribute to better medicine at a lower cost.

The growing installation of Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) in hospitals, is the visible result of several technological transformations in the Medical Imagiology Equipment, notably the introduction of digital interfaces and the existence of special digitizers to integrate non-digital equipment.

With the exponential increase of medical data in digital archives, it is becoming more and more difficult to automate certain analysis or search related tasks, making it necessary to investigate better and alternative ways to use medical data and creating more efficient interfaces to access it.

This Project aims to develop a software module to integrate with PACS that supports automatic, semantic based, description and search methods directly over medical images. In opposition with existent systems, this solution will make possible to generate on-the-fly diagnosis reports based on the similarity of medical images archived in the system.

This project results from a joint collaboration between INESC Porto, FEUP and Emílio Azevedo Campos, with a strong support from Hospital São João.
At INESC Porto the involvement is undertaken by the Breast Research Group.



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Acknowledgments

Semantic PACS (project n 3472) is a QREN initiative, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Operational Programme COMPETE.

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