Portable Data for Imaging

From IHE Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Portable Data for Imaging (PDI) provides reliable interchange of image data and diagnostic reports on CDs, DVDs and USB for importing, printing, or optionally, displaying in a browser.


Portable Data for Imaging further standardizes the distribution of imaging related information on interchange media. This allows users who receive interchange media to more reliably import, process, archive, display or print the imaging related information. The Profile specifies CDs as the physical media, with additional options to handle DVDs and USB Drives.

PDI media is fully DICOM compliant, in fact much of the the PDI specification simply constrains DICOM more tightly for improved compatibility. As such, any DICOM compliant reader should have no trouble reading PDI-compliant media.



Reduce Errors and Enhance Patient Care

  • Reduces gaps in the patient record by providing digital data which can be imported into local systems and integrated in the patient record
  • Improves patient peace of mind because patients can be directly provided with copies of their personal health information

Reduce Operational Costs

  • Reduces unnecessary film costs for surgery, referring physicians, or referrals to other sites by providing images on cheap, high capacity media

Improve Data Accessibility

  • Improves access to data from other institutions and clinics by providing it in a standard digital format on familiar media
  • Improves access by allowing clinical data consumers (referring physicians, second-opinion radiologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, other institutions, clinics, referrals, etc.) to access imaging directly on their workstations

Increase Throughput

  • Avoids time lost scanning film "priors" from other sites by instead providing the original data in digital format


The imaging information placed on the media by the creator can include medical images (CT, MRI, Ultrasound, Angiography, etc) and associated DICOM objects such as encapsulated diagnostic reports, measurements, dose records and clinical application results.

The media must include diagnostic data in DICOM format, which is thus suitable for import for further viewing, processing and archival.

The media may include optional "web viewable" copies of the information, suitable for viewing in a browser (e.g. HTML versions of the reports and JPEG versions of the DICOM images)

The media may also include an optional DICOM Viewer program for receivers who do not have access to a PACS where the images can be imported, or to a workstation on which they can load their preferred DICOM viewer.

The data on the media is generally suitable for display, review, importing and/or printing by the receiver.

The profile constrains the contents of compliant media to:

  • a standard physical format and file system
  • a consistent organization of the contents
  • the most generic DICOM Media Profile

Guidance is provided on physical identification of the media, and how to avoid some of the most common errors when creating DICOM media.

The profile also recommends the contents of a README.TXT file on the media which can help identify the institution and software that produced the media to make it easier to deal with any issues that might arise.

The profile allows for several options (which can be found on the Integration Statement of compliant systems):

  • DVD Media: able to read and/or write to DVD media.
  • USB Media: able to read and/or write to USB media.
  • Basic Viewer: able to burn a viewing application onto the media which complies with the Basic Image Review profile.
  • Web Content: able supplement the DICOM data with browser viewable versions
  • Privacy Protection: able to encrypt the media data using either passwords (PBE) or public keys (PKI).
  • Sending Software: able to burn an application onto the media which can de-crypt, de-compress and convert (as necessary) images on the media and send them to a DICOM PACS or workstation.

Import Reconciliation Workflow [IRWF] (another Profile) supplements PDI by describing how to import DICOM images and reports from PDI discs (or film digitizers) while addressing issues such as mapping to local patient ids and procedure codes.

Systems Affected

Systems which are expected to have implemented actors from this profile include:

  • Acquisition Modalities which are capable of saving Diagnostic Imaging information to PDI media.
  • Display Workstations which are capable of either saving or viewing Diagnostic Imaging information to/on PDI media.
  • Reporting Workstations which are capable of either saving or viewing Diagnostic Imaging/Report information to/on PDI media.
  • Radiology image management/archiving (i.e. picture and communication systems (PACS)which are capable of saving Diagnostic Imaging information to PDI media.
  • Workstations which are capable of viewing imaging-related information through a Web Browser or Diagnostic Imaging-related information through the DICOM Viewer provided on the PDI media.

Actors & Transactions:



Profile Status: Final Text


PDI Options for Compression and Encryption are in Trial Implementation:

Underlying Standards:

See Also

Related Profiles

Several "content profiles" specify DICOM Objects that may be placed on PDI media.

Consumer Information

The Portable Data for Imaging FAQ answers typical questions about what the Profile does.

Portable Data for Imaging Purchasing describes considerations when purchasing equipment to deploy this Profile.

Implementer Information

The Portable Data for Imaging Implementation provides additional information about implementing this Profile in software.

Reference Articles

  • Standardizing Portable Medical Imaging Formats to Enhance Safe, Timely, Efficient Care; Board of Trustees Report, American Medical Association, Pg 6 link
  • Importing outside imaging to PACS reduces repeat imaging. Lu MT, Tellis W, Fidelman N, Qayyum A, Avrin DE. American Journal of Roentgenology, in press.
  • Outside Imaging in Emergency Department Transfer Patients: CD Import Reduces Rates of Subsequent Imaging Utilization, Sodickson, A. MD et al, Radiology, (April 2011) link overview
  • Policies and Procedures for Reviewing Medical Images From Portable Media: Survey of Radiology Departments, Vivek Kalia, MPH, MS, John A. Carrino, MD, MPH, Katarzyna J. Macura, MD, PhD, Journal of the American College of Radiology Volume 8, Issue 1 , Pages 39-48, January 2011 link
    • Radiology practices should routinely produce only CDs and DVDs that are compliant with the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) Portable Data for Imaging (PDI) integration profile, according to a research team led by Vivek Kalia of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore Aunt Minnie
    • iHealthbeat Summary
  • Reviewing Images From Portable Media: An Ongoing Challenge, Katarzyna J. Macura, MD, PhD, John A. Carrino, MD, MPH, Charles E. Kahn Jr, MD, MS, Journal of the American College of Radiology (Jan 2009), link
  • American Telemedicine Association’s Practice Guidelines for Teledermatology, E. Krupinski et al., Telemedicine and e-Health, April 2008, 14(3): 289-302
  • Outside Images on CD: A Management Nightmare, R. Morin, Journal of the American College of Radiology, Volume 2, Issue 11, Pages 958-958 (Nov 2005) link

This page is based on the Profile Template