Nextcloud Hub now has the ability to view DICOM medical images. Find out how to add this feature to the latest release.
The open source community is able to do almost anything. And when one particular developer, Aysel Afsar, put his expertise to the task, he succeeded in making an application for the next cloud local cloud server which would assist in combating COVID-19.
What is this magical application? This is called Dicom Viewer. DICOM is an international standard for transmitting, storing, retrieving, printing, processing and displaying medical imaging information.
At first, I wasn’t sure what this meant. However, after installing and testing the application using demo images that I found, everything became very clear.
Imagine you have an image that includes a large amount of information embedded to help you better understand what you see. That information will allow you to do things like easily measure certain areas of an image and even see different dimensions and layers. DICOM images can also contain patient ID information, so the possibility of misinterpreting patient images with others is much less likely.
Afsar’s work is important. Why? Because it means that any organization can adopt NextCloud without burdening a budget that has doubled and has the ability to see DICOM images in a cloud-based collaboration system.
Better yet, this is very easy to use.
Let me show you how.
What do you need
The only thing you need to add is the DICOM view to the Next click is an example of running the latest release (Next Click hub) and users with admin privileges.
How to install the DICOM Viewer
Enter your Nextcloud instance with the admin user. Once there, click on your profile icon in the upper right corner and click Applications. In the search field, type DICOM. When the DICOM Viewer entry appears (Figure A), click Download And Activate.
And that’s all there is to the DICOM Viewer installation.
How to use the DICOM Viewer
To use the DICOM viewer, you must have a DICOM image to use – I found a small collection here. Download the DICOM image and unzip it before you upload it to Nextcloud. After extracting, you will find files that are locked with the DCM extension.
Return to Nextcloud and navigate to File. Once in the File, click + and then click Upload File from the popup menu (Figure B).
Uploading files in Nextcloud Hub.
Navigate to the DCM file and choose to upload. After appearing in NextCloud, click to open it. With the image open in the DICOM viewer, you can interact with it, using the tools included (Figure C).
The measured angle and length of the image part with a simple click and drag.
At this point, your organization is able to view DICOM images, use hardware, and open source, NextCloud Hub is free. At least with this one aspect, the budget is no longer a problem for struggling organizations who need to see such a picture in the struggle against COVID-19.
If you want to know what people in the medical field say about this new addition to NextCloud, Gordon J. Harris, professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, director of 3D Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, and president of the Open Health Imaging Foundation, says this :
The use of OHIF / Cornerstone imaging technology as a web viewer for the Nextcloud open source file sharing platform is provided free of charge to help save lives during the COVID-19 crisis. This type of integration is exactly like the use of open source software that we dream of to benefit the medical sector and that is our main motivation behind creating an open technology platform and easy access and imaging platform for medical data.