A Reliable, Low-Cost Picture Archiving and Communications System for Small and Medium Veterinary Practices Built Using Open-Source Technology Bryan Iotti,Alberto Valazza

According to the Journal of Digital Imaging  'a Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) are the most needed system in a modern hospital. As an integral part of the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard, they are charged with the responsibility for secure storage and accessibility of the diagnostic imaging data. These machines need to offer high performance, stability, and security while proving reliable and ergonomic in the day-to-day and long-term storage and retrieval of the data they safeguard. This paper reports the experience of the authors in developing and installing a compact and low-cost solution based on open-source technologies in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital for the University of Torino, Italy, during the course of the summer of 2012. The PACS server was built on low-cost x86-based hardware and uses an open source operating system derived from Oracle OpenSolaris (Oracle Corporation, Redwood City, CA, USA) to host the DCM4CHEE PACS DICOM server (DCM4CHEE, http://www.dcm4che.org). This solution features very high data security and an ergonomic interface to provide easy access to a large amount of imaging data. The system has been in active use for almost 2 years now and has proven to be a scalable, cost-effective solution for practices ranging from small to very large, where the use of different hardware combinations allows scaling to the different deployments, while the use of paravirtualization allows increased security and easy migrations and upgrades'.