Remote hot CHILI radiology images processing at the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum

Heidelberg 19 September 1999At the MedNet'99 meeting, Dr. Engelmann illustrated the potential of the CHILI application in borderless teleradiology, as it has been developed at the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ). CHILI was born out of the MEDICUS project that was aimed at creating a general purpose radiology workstation equipped with teleconferencing features. Currently, the software architecture consists of twenty components, making the system suitable for different configurations. CHILI has a plug-in concept for the integration of existing programmes and disposes of a very secure protocol. In this way, the programme corresponds with nowadays' tendency to design general purpose systems for various application scenarios.

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From 1992 to 1994, the first image file transfers took place in the MEDICUS project for scientific purpose. In the next two years, from 1994 to 1996, the MEDICUS 2 initiative was launched in which thirteen radiologists were linked to the system by means of ISDN lines. The network by then was used for clinical routine. The useful experience of both software developers and teleradiology users, built out in the first years of clinical practice, have been integrated into the new design of CHILI which was started in 1996. The present system is DICOM oriented and has a strong data security concept. More than fifty systems are connected to the network with locations spread all over Germany and one also hosted in Basel, Switzerland.

Although developed at the DKFZ, the CHILI teleradiology system is produced and commercialised by the Steinbeis Transferzentrum. CHILI is suitable for a variety of application models, that range from teleconferencing and second opinion facilities to the implementation within distributed hospital radiology departments. External applications and JAVA-components can be added to the architecture which is extremely flexible. CHILI can be utilized as a long term archive and has a cache to the Picture Archival Computer System. The system can be transformed from a teleradiology device into a PACS through the introduction of a low-cost PACS interface.

Up till now, over 370.000 images have already been processed with the CHILI software. Despite DICOM, HTTP, e-mail, and CD-Rom features, future work implies still a lot of integration and standardisation to be carried out. In any case, the next generation workstation will undoubtedly be a general purpose system. For more technical details about the CHILI architecture, we kindly invite you to consult the VMW article CHILI organises medical images travel over ISDN lines in the January 1998 issue. Or you can also visit the CHILI home page.


Leslie Versweyveld

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