From two major academic centres come a pair of web browser-native medical image viewers that are leading the way to web-based imaging.
The project comprises two components. VolumeViewer can perform slice-by-slice display of volumetric data, which currently must be in the MINC format. It can display multiple volumes through time (an important feature for functional neuroimaging) and renders a multiplanar view of the data volume. SurfaceViewer loads surface datasets such as generated by FreeSurfer or MNI software, and has many of the features you’d expect from an installed application – only you don’t need to install it. Both of these applications have an extensible plug-in architecture so can be expanded to other file formats.
The fully-documented source code is available at GitHub, and several presentations demonstrate the architecture and technologies used in the project. You can approach this software at several levels. Run from the project’s servers, BrainBrowser can act as a Web Service, rendering your local data within your browser, no data transfer occurs in either direction. For a locally-hosted and customizable installation, download the source code and install it on a local server.
BrainBrowser is a serious application from a major university. While the demos appeal to everyone, the advanced features of this specialized software will be of particular benefit to researchers in the brain imaging field.
SliceDrop makes imaging about as simple as it can be: drag and drop some image files on your browser, and they are rendered on the spot. Impatient? Download these MRI files and drop them on the SliceDrop window from the link above. There’s more to the application than this, of course, but it demonstrates how easy it can be. There are other pre-packaged demos on the project’s home page.
BrainBrowser and SliceDrop are terrific examples of what is capable with standard web technologies. Either of these applications can have you viewing images in less than a minute, no software required. For many needs, web-based imaging is the way forward.