Open Source meets IHE: the O3 Consortium

After a three-year experience in applying open source to healthcare, in particular in radiology (Raynux and DPACS Project) we decide to experiment a different approach in which open source phylosophy meets standard such as DICOM or HL7 and technical guidelines such as IHE (

First of all O3 is a knowledge management project: we consider a priority to support the knowledge of the user in order to better use the software developed. We believe that skilled users are the starting point of a successful project.

To realize this “dream”, we want the software to be:
– OS independent
– database independent
– hardware independent (PC, Tablet, PDA, PhonePC, LG Refrigerator, etc.)

The solution is:
– a web-based application (for typical transactional application)
– Apache web server
– Php scripting language
– MySQL, PostgreSQL, Firebird, Oracle
– No ActiveX, java applets only in selected cases (e.g. digital signature), pure html
– Css style sheet
– a java-based application (for image manipulation)
– Java Enterprise server technologies

The O3 project is based on modules that are IHE actors. All the softwares are completely engineered on IHE transaction. The result is not a traditional application (such as a RIS for example) but a “marriage” of IHE modules.

The Raynux/MARiS and DPACS experiences suggest to us to consider the Open Source in Radiology as a Community Project. It means that:
– Not a “prototype”
– The community provide all the services involved in “daily use”
– User must be involved in project development

Hospitals and Universities formed a “consortium” in which all the stakeholders (CIO, Radiologists, etc.) suggest the development strategies for the next steps.

The Consortium should offer to the members some services:

– Assistance in hardware purchase
– Help desk
– Integration project management
– Workflow analysis
– Medico-legal assistance
– Training

At today three different Hospital (Pisa, Padova, Trieste) are using the PACS (O3-DPACS) or the RIS (O3-MARiS). To receive more information about the project visit

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