MedPix medical image database uses healthy dose of FOSS

It’s always a great thing to see one industry or another using open source software. In this piece below, we are sent on a merry little journey into this world.

MedPix is a sprawling online medical images database and diagnostic tool that’s used around the world by radiologists, nurses, physicians, and medical students — and the whole system is powered by Linux and open source software.

MedPix is hosted by the US federal government’s health sciences university, the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland. It’s the brainchild of James G. Smirniotopoulos, M.D., a USU professor of Radiology, Neurology, and Biomedical Informatics and Clinical Sciences Chair of its Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences.
The idea behind the system is to improve upon the way case-related medical data, especially radiographs, can be accessed by medical professionals — a problem that Smirniotopoulos has been dealing with for over 25 years.
“When I was preparing for my Radiology Board examination in 1980, I used 3×5-inch cards to take and file notes,” Smirniotopoulos says. “In 1982 I purchased a Commodore 64 computer, and shortly thereafter designed a database to replace my file cards.”
This proved to be a learning experience for Smirniotopoulos, who says he first tackled Commodore Basic and then even the computer’s machine language so that he could implement a substring search function for his database. Years later, he ported his database to Microsoft Access using a Visual Basic GUI, but this posed a new problem: “I wanted a Web interface to a single database for work and home,” he says, “rather than synchronizing two copies of the database. I also needed to add the ability to store images.”…. Source: