University of Southern California
Computer-aided Diagnosis (CAD)
Bone Age Assessment
Data Grid
RT Informatics
Image-guided Surgical Informatics

A Medical Imaging Informatics Data Grid for Archiving and Distributing DICOM

The Next Generation of Fault-Tolerant Storage and Distribution for Multi-center Backup and Recovery of Radiological Images and Reports

Advantages over traditional storage system:

  • Seamless to the Client and Fully DICOM-Compliant
  • Easily Scalable and Heterogeneous in Platforms & Resources
  • Fault-Tolerant and Automatically Recoverable


This project was started in 2005 at the Image Processing and Informatics Laboratory as an off-site back-up solution for multi-center radiological images and PACS. Utilizing DICOM-compliant middleware services and open-source grid software, the Data Grid system provides DICOM metadata storage and query/retrieve services, remote-site replication of DICOM images, and authenticated and reliable GridFTP file transfers across Internet2 connectivity between nodes. The result is a fault-tolerant and virtualized repository that integrates seamlessly across remote PACS infrastructures.

Imaging-based Clinical Trials

The Medical Imaging Informatics Data Grid opened doors that go beyond being a back-up solution for PACS sites. At the RSNA Conference in 2006, the Image Processing and Informatics Laboratory demonstrated the Medical Imaging Informatics D ata Grid as a grid-based solution for retrieving anonymized patient data in imaging-based clinical trials where logistical and temporal challenges limit the efficiency of a radiology core conducting these trials. The requirements of continuous availability, HIPAA-compliant auditing, and maintaining data integrity were addressed with technologies developed at the IPILab.

Figure 1. The Fundamental 4 Layers of Data Grid Technology Infrastructure.    

Figure 2. Workflow for Clinical and Research Archiving of DICOM images into the Medical Imaging Informatics Data Grid.

Published Papers:

Utilizing Data Grid Architecture for the Backup and Recovery of Clinical Image Data
B.J. Liu, Z. Zhou, J. Documet
Journal of Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics, Vol 29 Issue 2 (Mar. 2005)

Data Grid for Large-Scale Medical Image Archive and Analysis
H.K. Huang, A. Zhang, B.J. Liu, Z. Zhou, J. Documet, N. King, L.W. Chan
Proceedings of the 13th ACM International Conference on Multimedia, 2005

A HIPAA-Compliant Architecture for Securing Clinical Images
B.J. Liu, Z. Zhou, H.K. Huang
Journal of Digital Imaging, Vol 19 Issue 2 (June 2006)

The Role of a Data Grid in Worldwide Imaging-Based Clinical Trials
Z. Zhou, M. Gutierrez, J. Documet, L. Chan, H.K. Huang, B.J. Liu
Journal of High Speed Networks, Vol 15 Issue 1 (Jan. 2007)

A Data Grid Model for Combining Teleradiology and PACS Operations
H.K. Huang, B.J. Liu, Z. Zhou, J. Documet
Journal of Medical Imaging Technology

A Computer-Aided Diagnostic System using a Global Data Grid Repository for the Evaluation of Ultrasound Carotid Images
M.A. Gutierrez, S. Lage, J. Lee, Z. Zhou
Seventh IEEE International Sympositum on Cluster Computing and the Grid (May 2007)


The Medical Imaging Informatics Data Grid project has been funded by MI2 .

Workflow Diagrams

Figure 3. The workflow of storing PACS studies to the DICOM data grid

Figure 4. The workflow of Query/Retrieve studies from DICOM data grid.
Copyright 2005-2013.  Image Processing and Informatics Lab, 1042 Downey Way. Denney Research Center (DRB) 264 Los Angeles, CA 90089-1111   Phone: 213.821.8395 Fax: 213.743.2962