Vinci has another new version release. I’ve mentioned this program before; it is a heavyweight neuro imaging program specializing in PET imaging, and is a leader in this field. That said, it’s a pretty narrow field, but it happens to be my field which is why I like this program so much. Their release schedule is regular and substantial – for example, one ‘maintenance’ release a while ago was to expand their platform base to the Mac and Linux. I see no reason why this program couldn’t be used for non-neuro imaging and its feature list will keep the most demanding analyst busy for days.
Anatomist / BrainVISA is another major program in neuro image processing and analysis, though specializing in MRI this time. It is a product of a consortium of French academic institutions and is frequently updated and well supported. It’s true open source and has been built on many operating systems, though prefers Linux. I’ve not used this program, it’s specialized and not in my particular field. I will download and test it for a review, though, and I’ve admired their images, does that count?
RadScaper is a Java applet-based image viewer from Divinev, and the recently released updates feature an attractive redesign along with technical improvements. There are a couple of these around, but RadScaper is in continuous development and its capabilities have grown considerably. There are obvious limitations to viewing images in a web browser rather than a stand-alone imaging application, but Radscaper can be run on just about any computer and requires no software installation at all. The image files are supplied via straight HTML so there should be no issue in accessing the image server through a firewall or other security appliance.
Osirix has another of its regular updates released. It’s the program I almost love to hate, since it could be argued that it is the only DICOM program you need, which would make my site obsolete! As a general purpose radiology workstation, or indeed for many specialized purposes, Osirix will do pretty much everything with DICOM files. I use it all day long for imaging and PACS work, and I recommend it to colleagues. If they are not currently Macintosh users, this program probably justifies purchasing a Mac. Of course, it is limited to DICOM and is limited to Macintosh (it utilizes so many advanced Mac core technologies that porting it to another OS would mean redesigning it). Try this program.
No image file for dcm4che, the comprehensive DICOM Java library and related applications, which has another update out. This vast toolkit is all command-line business, specializing in PACS operations, networking, getting images from A to B with complete accuracy and great efficiency. How hard core is it? The ‘che’ is actually ‘Che’ as in Guevara – the developer was “inspired by the revolutionary nature of open source”. Some programs have a special place in my heart, but dcm4che has something even more special, a permanent place in my directory path. All my machines (from 6 to 60 of them depending on how you count them) have /usr/local/dcm4che/bin hard coded in my path (even Windows machines, since I do most of my work at the Cygwin command line). For me, a standard step in getting any machine to a minimal functional state is to install Java and then dcm4che. In fact just today I was installing a WIndows 7 virtual machine (I run Parallels on the Mac), getting Java to install in C:java, since the default ‘Program Files (x86)’ directory causes all sorts of issues in the path, what with all those spaces and parentheses. dcm4che’s sibling is dcm4chee (the ‘e’ is for ‘Enterprise’), a powerful PACS server in Java that provides the core of my test lab.