Using An iPod To Store Medical Images

A doctor at University Hospital in Geneva has developed software that allows him to download medical images to his iPod rather than having to purchase uber-expensive equipment.

The software, Osirix, was written for the Mac platform because of its powerful graphic processing power. He incorporated a feature to download the images to his 40GB iPod, as well as iChat, allowing other users on the network to see the same images you have on your screen.

We wanted to create something for non-radiologists to use, for surgeons or general physicians to view images.

We chose to create the software for Macs, as it’s no secret that they are known for their graphic ability. They have huge processing power for 3D and 4D images.

CDs aren’t big enough, memory sticks are not big enough, but I had my iPod, which has 40GB of memory just there. We rigged the software so that you can click to store the images on the iPod, and subsequently view them in Osirix directly from the iPod.

After we figured out that the iPods were a practical way of carrying these images, Apple brought out the photo iPod a few months later. That meant the images could also be viewed on the devices.

Instead of the usual jpeg format, medical images are stored in a format called Diacom (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) so we had to create a function on the software that allowed the format to be modified so they could be visible on the iPod.

What’s better is that the software is open source, allowing others to download it and improve upon it.

Read all of the details, written by the doctor himself, at

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