The positive features of the system are as follows:
- The system features convenient, well-organized layout: all the frequently used icons and buttons are easily found.
- Icons images are successfully used to represent factual and documentary information.
- The colored icons appear lively and if showing, for example, people or landscapes, it is natural to use color. Black and white images are suitable for showing a concept or theme in general terms, or to ensure that an image does not distract the user too much from the text.
- The graphical user interface (GUI) of PACS gives the user a sense of consistency and control, a good approach is to split the screen up into a number of fixed panel areas containing different types of information e.g. a ‘control panel’ containing the main control buttons, a ‘menu panel’ to display choices, and an ‘information panel’ to display information from the system.
- The use of the system is uncomplicated. All the main options are very similar to the image-editors frequently used by common people; thus, no additional training is needed to operate this system.
- The system allows accessing recently used pictures by means of the buttons “today” and “yesterday” located in Field 2 which helps to save time.
- The system’s viewer allows comfortable preview bar for different cases and series of cases.
- The system features convenient configuration tools located in Field 5 for the quick change of connection settings for the various LEADTOOLS PACS Framework client and server. This enables the user, even not experienced one in IT technologies, to find all the necessary information in varied locations.
The disadvantages of the system are as follows:
- The system does not show the history of the patient’s case; there is no quick access button to show all the images of a particular individual which is important for making on-the-spot analyses of the case.
- The system should have a more convenient way to access and compare current and previous examinations of a particular patient.
- The system features selective archival model which makes it impossible to use interactive advanced visualization on prior or rather recent studies. The system only stores the “key-images”.
The usability and functionality of the system, I feel, would be improved in case of the following changes and additions:
- Add an additional button “history” allowing access to all the images of a particular patient. This additional searching tool should offer the opportunity to find the required images by means of the use of the patient’s ID or name along with the other data (address, for instance) to eliminate the possibility of showing the other patient’s results. That would help the physician to see the dynamics of the case which will provide a basis for making more operative and accurate decision.
- A mechanism for accessing and comparing current and previous examinations of a particular patient should be created. To do this all the images of a particular individual should be initialized identically and a special algorithm should be created to operate them.
- A mechanism for creating a full archival model to enable the use of interactive advanced visualization on prior or rather recent studies should be created. Thus, when the physician makes a decision concerning the case of a particular patient he/she is able to take all the important details into account.