Image Acquisition Gateway
The image acquisition gateway computer (gateway) with a set of software programs is used as a buffer between image acquisition and the PACS server. Figure 10.1 shows how this chapter corresponds to the PACS fundamentals content of Part II. Figure 10.2 depicts the gateway in the PACS data flow. In this chapter the terms acquisition gateway computer, gateway computer, acquisition gateway, and gateway have the same meaning.
Several acquisition devices (modalities) can share one gateway. The gateway has three primary tasks: (1) it acquires image data from the radiological imaging device, (2) it converts the data from manufacturer data format specifications to the PACS image data standard format (header format, byte-ordering, matrix sizes) that is compliant with the DICOM data formats, and (3) it forwards the image study to the PACS server or directly to the PACA workstations (WSs). Additional tasks in the gateway are some image pre-processing, compression, and data security. An acquisition gateway has the following characteristics:
1. It preserves the image data integrity transmitted from the imaging device.
2. Its operation is transparent to the users and totally or highly automatic.
3. It delivers images timely to the PACS server and WSs.
4. It performs some image preprocessing functions to facilitate image display.
Among all PACS major components, establishing a reliable gateway in PACS is the most difficult task for a number ...