11 December 2017
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Q. Is it possible to upload ultrasound images from a GP practice to the HSE NIMIS system?

NIMIS stands for National Integrated Medical Imaging System. NIMIS has been a big success. In a typical hospi-tal diagnostic unit, they run both a radiology information system (RIS) and a picture archiving and communications system (PACS) that connects to their imaging machines. This allows them to schedule, carry out, report and upload DICOM images to the national repository in the HSE data centre.

Communication between local servers in the diagnostic unit and the national repository is done with high speed lines over the National Health Network (NHN).

If you contrast this with a GP using a standalone ultra-sound unit you can see the gaps that prevent sharing of images across all sites:

  • No RIS and PACS in place
  • Not connected to the NHN.

The costs of connecting GP surgeries to NIMIS are prohibitive. Even the private imaging companies are not connected to NIMIS.

If a GP with an interest in ultrasound wanted to send a DICOM image to another GP, they could use Healthmail. Healthmail will handle attachments up to 50MB in size between two Healthmail user accounts. The sending and receiving GPs would also need to have a DICOM viewer. Healthlink is not suitable for transporting DICOM images as it works with messages rather than files or images.

Reference: Navigate to www.ehealthireland.ie and view the NIMIS information in the 'strategic programmes' section.

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