When a CT scan, MRI or X-ray series is complete, a computer holds a huge amount of medical imaging data that is completely useless without medical imaging software. The software takes this medical imaging data and transforms it into a PDF file that can be viewed, sent, focused and zoomed as needed by the medical team. Many medical imaging software programs allow technicians and physicians to read a preliminary immediate rendering on a computer screen, but this information requires a huge amount of physical hard drive to store.
JPEG 2000 was created to condense or compress large files into a more manageable size. DICOM standards were applied to JPEG 2000 technology to create a medical breakthrough. DICOM laces information about a patient into the imaging file. This ensures no file can be accidentally implied as belonging to another patient. Even if one imaging file is separated from an entire file, that imaging file is linked to the patient thanks to DICOM and JPEG 2000.
Now that the medical imaging files are smaller, how can they be moved from one personal computer to the next? JPIP, or JPEG 2000 Interactive Protocol, is a unique streaming client that fractionates a file and delivers only the portions needed at any given time. Think of a medical imaging file as a photo of the face. If the doctor wants to look at a specific area of the imaging file, say the eye of the face, that specific area can be called up and streamed to create a precise imaging file. While that portion of the total picture is being viewed, the remaining medical imaging data is stored and ready but not transferred.
Once that part of the imaging file is no longer needed, the streaming stops. JPIP, JPEG 2000 and DICOM are important to the fast retrieval of medical imaging files by medical personnel. If imaging file files were left as huge blocks of information, the entire file would need to be transferred from one computer to another before the imaging file could be viewed. Not only would this slow down medical intervention, but the computers holding the medical imaging data would need to fill a room after only a few short months.