Section Summary. The Laboratory for Radiological Informatics (LRI) is part of the Department of Radiology at the University of California at San Francisco, School of Medicine. The LRI is involved in the design, implementation, maintenance, and analysis of clinical picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) and other imaging informatics technologies for clinical use, radiological research and teaching applications. The LRI houses the clinical PACS infrastructure including the image cache, long-term optical archive, database, and web server. The facility is also the site for research in medical imaging informatics. More than a dozen people work within the lab and they are involved in both clinical and research activities.
Clinical accomplishments from 1996 through 2001 include the continued development of the UCSF PACS with the major objective to minimize the use of film in medical imaging. A commercial PACS purchased from Agfa Corporation has been implemented and provides the acquisition, short and intermediate term images storage and display components. The LRI has implemented a long term, optical archive with its own database and image management software, which couples to the Agfa PACS. This long-term archive contains images acquired prior to the implementation of the Agfa system as well as studies older than 18 months. Softcopy display stations for image interpretation and review have been and continue to be deployed throughout the Department of Radiology and other key image-intensive areas such as the Emergency Department and the Intensive Care Units. Secure, web-based access to studies has been implemented for image retrieval in less intensive locations within the enterprise and for access to images at physicians' homes. Currently there are over 350 users of the clinical PACS web tool. All cross-sectional imaging modalities are interfaced to the PACS including ultrasound and nuclear medicine. All angiographic rooms are also connected although only selected images are stored from this modality. Six CRs and 2 DRs are now connected to the PACS with one more of each expected by the end of the year. Digital mammography will also be added this year. The current intake of digital data is approximately 20 Gigabytes/day.
Research in the LRI is in the general area of medical imaging informatics which encompasses digital image acquisition, processing, display and archival. Specific focuses of the LRI include the development of PACS workflow and management software, digital image processing and analysis, image display devices and graphical user interface design, archival strategies, and clinical radiology information systems (RIS) and databases.