medical software development since 1999  
  • Sante PACS Server

  • Sante PACS Server

  • Sante PACS Server

  • Sante PACS Server


Sante PACS Server


Configure and use DICOM network services

(C-FIND/C-MOVE/C-STORE/C-GET/C-ECHO)

Contents



Definitions

DICOM Services
The DICOM protocol consists of many different services, most of which involve transmission of data over a network. The program supports the store, query/retrieve and echo services (C-STORE/C-FIND/C-MOVE/C-ECHO SCU).

Store Service (C-STORE)
The DICOM Store service is used to send images or other persistent objects to a PACS or workstation.

Query Service (C-FIND)
This service enables a workstation to find lists of images, studies/series and other objects stored in a PACS system.

Retrieve Services (C-MOVE/C-GET)
These services enables a workstation to retrieve studies/series from a PACS system.

Echo Service (C-ECHO)
This service enables a workstation to verify the connection and the communication with another workstation or a PACS system.

DICOM communication protocol
The communication protocol is an application protocol that uses TCP/IP to communicate between systems. DICOM files can be exchanged between two entities that can receive image and patient data in DICOM format.

Communication between DICOM nodes
Two DICOM nodes (workstations, PACS systems) can communicate if they know each other. That means, each system must know the AE Title, the IP address or hostname and the IP port of the other system. 

AE Title
AE Title or AET is an abbreviation for Application Entity Title. An AE Title is used by an Application Entity (AE) to identify itself. AE Titles need to be locally unique and are typically managed by a system administrator. They are case-sensitive and 16 bytes long. They are to be configured prior to initializing a DICOM connection.

IP Address
An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical identification (logical address) that is assigned to devices participating in a computer network utilizing the Internet Protocol for communication between its nodes. Although IP addresses are stored as binary numbers, they are often displayed in more human-readable notations, such as 192.168.100.1 . Usually can be translated into a hostname via the local hosts file, or the Domain Name System (DNS) resolver, and can be used instead of the hostname.

Hostname
A hostname is a domain name assigned to a host computer, and is translated into an IP Address via the local hosts file, or the Domain Name System (DNS) resolver. It can be used instead of an IP Address.

Port
TCP/IP protocol uses the notion of port numbers to identify sending and receiving application end-points on a host. Each side of a TCP connection has an associated 16-bit unsigned port number (1-65535) reserved by the sending or receiving application. Arriving TCP data packets are identified as belonging to a specific TCP connection by its sockets, that is, the combination of source host address, source port, destination host address, and destination port. Ports need to be locally unique and are typically managed by a system administrator. The numbers 104 and 11112 are usually used as IP Ports in DICOM networking, but any number between 1 and 65535 can be used, but it must be unique for the host (node/PC), and it must not be used from any other application.

Firewall
A firewall is a dedicated software, which inspects network traffic passing through it, and denies or permits passage based on a set of rules. If there is a firewall in your computer, you must unblock the application.



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Program configuration

Configure Sante Server
Select the menu command "NetworkNetwork Server Setup".
A dialog box appears and allows you to insert the AE Title and the IP Port of Sante PACS Server.
This command requires administrator privileges.



If you wish the server to run as service, check the checkbox "Run the server as service".

Automatic CD/DVD burning and printing of received studies
Sante PACS Server when receiving studies, except of storing on the disk it can also send them automatically for CD/DVD burning and label printing to robotic disk publisher devices of EPSON and PRIMERA.



For this purpose it uses two additional AE Titles, one with the addition of "_E" suffix in the original AE Title and one with the addition of "_P" suffix.
E.g.
If the defined AE Title is SANTESRV1, the program creates the AE Titles SANTESRV1_P and SANTESRV1_E as well. These additional AE Titles are used for automatic CD/DVD burning and printing.



  • If a client DICOM node (a CT/MR/US/DX or other medical scanner, a DICOM workstation etc.) instead of using the original AE Title of Sante PACS Server it uses the AE Title with the "_E" suffix, then Sante PACS Server stores the received series/studies on the database and automatically sends them for printing and burning to an EPSON producer.
  • If a client DICOM node (a CT/MR/US/DX or other medical scanner, a DICOM workstation etc.) instead of using the original AE Title of Sante PACS Server it uses the AE Title with the ,"_P" suffix, then Sante PACS Server stores the received series/studies on the database and automatically sends them for printing and burning to an PRIMERA producer.

Delayed automatic CD/DVD burning and printing of received studies
Some medical scanners use multiple connections to send a whole study (usually one connection per series of the study). In that case the program by using the AE title with "_E" and "_P" suffixes that described in the previous paragraph, will create one CD/DVD per connection, that is one CD/DVD for every series, and not one CD/DVD for the whole study that contains all the series of the patient.

In that case the client DICOM node (a CT/MR/US/DX or other medical scanner, a DICOM workstation etc.) must use the AE Title with a "_TE" or "_TP" suffix. With these suffixes the program waits for a specific time before sending the received series of the study for printing and burning. If it receives a new series that belong to the study in delay, it waits again the secified time for the next series and so on. If it does not receive in the specified time a series that belong to the study in delay, it sends the study for burning and printing.

The user specifies the delay time in the control Delay Time (sec) control of the dialog box below. The default value is 120 sec.




Insert the information of the other DICOM nodes
Select the server menu command "NetworkNetwork Peer Setup".
A dialog box appears and allows you to insert the other DICOM servers and clients that exist in the network.
This command requires administrator privileges.



Press the "Insert" or "Edit" button, a new dialog box appears and allows you to insert the information of your PACS system.



Select a DICOM server row and press "Echo" button, to check the connection with the selected server.
Select a DICOM server row and press "Delete" button, to delete the selected server.

Open transferred studies/series when received option
When the program receives studies and/or series it inserts them in the database.
If you wish to open them immediately after they have been received, check the checkbox "Open transferred studies/series when received".

Maximum Connections option
When the program acts as a client and the user searches and retrieves studies/series from other servers, this option determines the maximum number of outgoing connections. When the program acts as a server the number of incoming connections are unlimited.

Service time-out option
This option determines how long the program waits for a response from the peer. If this time passes the program interrupts the connection.

Configure the other PACS nodes in the network
Sante PACS Server is compatible with the most DICOM PACS providers. Please advise your PACS software help file about AE configuration of the other PACS servers/clients. Below are examples of the configuration of two of the most used free PACS servers, the ConQuest and the dcm4chee. All PACS servers have similar configuration with these ones.

The ConQuest configuration
Select the "Known DICOM providers" tab and insert the AE Title, IP Address and IP Port of Sante DICOM Application.
Press the "Save this list" button.




The dcm4chee configuration
Select the "AE Management" tab, press the "+ new AET" button and insert the AE Title, IP Address and IP Port of Sante DICOM Application.



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Send files/series to a PACS server/client (C-STORE service)

Use the menu command "FileSendSend To C-STORE SCP" to send the active DICOM file or DICOM series to a C-STORE SCP server. This command is active when you have opened one or more DICOM files and/or series, and you have configured the DICOM networking.



AE Title combo box
Selects a C-STORE SCP server.

Echo button
Tests the connection with the selected C-STORE SCP server.

OK button
Sends the selected entries to the selected C-STORE SCP server and closes the dialog box.

Cancel button
Interrupts the procedure and closes the dialog box.

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Query and retrieve (C-FIND/C-MOVE services)

Select the "Network" tab from the mode selection control, in the lower left corner of the main window.




The "C-STORE SCP" tools in the upper left corner of the Network window allows the user to select the server from which the series/studies will be retrieved.
The user must have already configured the known DICOM servers as described in the section Configuration.



The combo box "AE Title" contains all the known DICOM servers, and the user can select from this combo box the desired series/study source.
The combo box "Retreive Protocol" lets the user to select the transfer protocol between C-MOVE/C-STORE and C-GET.
The button "Refresh AE Titles" allows the user to refresh the contents of the combo box "AE Title" if he has just added new servers with the Configuration procedure.
The button "Echo" allows the user to determine if a server is alive add it can answer to find/retrieve queries.
The button "Settings" allows the user to configure the network.


The program has four buttons that allows the user to query the selected server.




The "Today" button asks the server for the series/studies of the current date.
The "Yesterday" button asks the server for the series/studies of the previous of the current date.
The "Last 7 Days" button asks the server for the series/studies of the last seven days.
The "Search All" button asks the server for all the series/studies.


The user can fine tune the query by adding more information about the desired results, like the patient name, the patient ID etc.




The results of the queries are displayed in the Study and Series lists.
The user can retrieve the desired series/studies by selecting them in the list and pressing the corresponding "Retrieve" button.




If the user wish the program to load automatically in the window of the built-in Viewer the just arrived series/studies, he must have the option "Open study/series when retrieved" enabled.




The "Network Activity" list contains the log details of the active network services.



The user can review all the details of an activity by selecting its row in this list.
A dialog box appears and displays the details of the activity.



When a service has been finished it is removed from this list.
Use the menu commands View Network (SCP) Report and View Network (SCU) Report to view the reports of the completed services.

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The log window

Use the menu command "NetworkView Network (SCP) Report" or the menu command "NetworkView Network (SCU) Report" to view all the network logs. The program keeps a log for every network activity, and display them in the Network Report dialog box.




To view the details of the log of an activity, double click the row of this activity.



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Configure the DICOM printers

Use the menu command "OptionsDICOM Printer Setup" to configure the DICOM printers of your network. The dialog box below allows you to insert the AE title, the IP address and the IP port of your DICOM printers.





Select a DICOM printer row and press "Delete" button, to delete the selected printer.
Select a DICOM printer row and press "Echo" button, to check the connection with the selected printer.
Press the "Insert" or "Edit" button, a new dialog box appears and allows you to insert the information of your DICOM printer.



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Network connection troubleshooting

If the program cannot communicate with other DICOM nodes or it cannot transfer files from other DICOM nodes, please check the following checklist:

  • Ensure that the port of the program is not used by any other program.
  • Ensure that the port of the program is not blocked from a firewall or an antivirus.
  • When the program starts it asks for to be added in firewall exception list. If you answered no you must add it manually.



  • If the two nodes (server and client) belong to different subnetworks, ensure that the port of the program is forwarded by the router.
  • If the program can "ECHO" the other node (client/server) but it cannot transfer files: Both machines (server and client) must know each other. You must insert the AE Title, IP address and port of the application into "Known DICOM Nodes" list of the other node (client/server). Without this information the client/server does not know where to send the files.
  • The IP Address that the program displays is the IP Address of the system, it is indicated by OS and the program cannot change it. If the system has many network interfaces (physical or virtual network cards), it is possible the program to display a wrong IP address, although it opens its port in all the available network interfaces and not only in the indicated IP address. In cases like that, you can use the netstat utility to check if the port of the program is opened and at which IP address.
    Use the menu command:
        C:\>netstat -ano -p tcp |find "11121"
    to check if the port 11121 of the program is opened and at which IP Address. The last number that the program prints is the PID of the application that has opened the port. You can use the menu command:
        C:\>tasklist |find "16832"
    to find which is this application.



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