Colours & Notes
The DAZU project
Digitales ArchivierungsZentrum für Ulm und Umgebung
Abstract on a project from 1998
-» Deutsche Version
Objective of the project
The DAZU project should answer the following questions:
Depending on the results of the analysis of the market potential of a DAZU service centre and based upon first
experiences with digital imaging in the Department of Radiology of the University of Ulm, it should be worked towards
a future practical implementation of a DAZU.
- Is digital radiologic imaging feasible? Are experiences available?
- What benefits or disadvantages (medical and financial) might be expected from moving from conventional film based radiologic imaging towards digital imaging, storage and communication techniques?
- What necessary investments and other costs would be associated with this move?
- What would be advantages of different data storage strategies (local, central, distributed and virtually central) and would a central archiving service be feasible?
- What services and what kind of know-how should a central service organization offer to be worthwile and useful for end-users?
- What technology and which communication concepts could or should be used?
- What would and what should it all cost?
- What about data protection, especially in combination with external storage of medical data?
- Is there interest in the field of end-users for such solutions? How much?
First, available technologies were analysed. The WWW was searched for material on this topic. A survey among
potential users of a digital archiving centre
was conducted in the city of Ulm and the surrounding area to examine the current situation in image production
and archiving and their interest in a digital solution. From the collected data, a complex model was generated
to examine costs and benefits of a move towards digital technology. As it can be adapted to future developments,
this model can be of continued value even after the end of the project.
After a final meeting in January 1999, the participating parties concluded to consider further steps to
implement a DAZU based on the results of the project.
Project report and scenario modelling worksheets
Aside from a detailed report, the project resulted in a complex set of electronic worksheets. Based on real-life
data collected during the project, they allow the user to model detailed scenarios according to the local situation in
any given practice, hospital or large clinic. These scenarios can take into account different strategies of data
acquisition, storage and communication, necessary staff and software as well as the last market prices for
computer hardware. They also cover varying examination rates, attitudes against doing radiologic examinations
and so on.
Comparing the situation after the move against the current one, they account for spendings for film,
chemicals, quality assurance, storage and handling and disposal of conventional media.
After the end of the project, these worksheets contain about 200 different scenarios. Used by experts
and kept up to date with technologic advances, the model can support strategic decisions addressing the
large-scale concept of a DAZU service centre. On the "receiving end", scenarios can be tailor-made to reflect
the situation of any one individual end-user (or DAZU customer), giving him a precise forecast on what he has
to invest and what he can expect from that.
Right after completion, the project suggested (more than) the following:
- Digital imaging is feasible and there are several sites around the world, where it has been implemented.
- Medically, digital technology offers substantial advantages, mainly resulting from easy communication.
- Financially, advantages of digital systems are awsome: While improving availability and security of images,
the University Clinic of Ulm might easily save about 3 Million DM (about 1,5 Mio. Euro or USD) each year.
Even practices with relatively small numbers of examinations might save. Savings might be kept or reinvested in
further improvement of medical services.
- Just like data availability, data protection can be much better in the digital environment than it is now. But it certainly has to be
taken care for by someone with detailed knowledge of applicable law as well as of applicable technology.
- Different solutions to establish communication are possible, they should be tailored to different end
users' needs. If the Internet is used, Virtual Private Networking should be implemented.
- In our country, communication costs for external storage are probably higher than costs for local digital
- Physically distributed, but virtually central storage within a network and with intelligent communication
on demand might be most advantageous.
- End-users are interested in advantages offered by digital radiology.
- A DAZU service centre should definitely offer more than just central storage or secure communication. Being reliable and
competent, it could operate in a very promising market.
Sponsors and sources of further information
The project was initiated by PD Dr. med. Roman Sokiranski, Radiology Department of the University of Ulm,
Germany. After initial contributions from a third party, the project was re-designed and completed by Dr. med. Jörg Sigle
under Dr. Sokiranskis supervision.
The project was sponsored by (in alphabetical order):
- Deutsche Telekom AG
- KODAK AG
- Siemens AG
- The City of Ulm, Germany
We wish to thank our sponsors for their generous support.
According to our agreement with the sponsors, you can receive further information on the project from the sources listed here. A detailed project report is to be published later in the year.
Colours & Notes
This Web page was prepared by myself,
and so were all included graphic elements.
© 18.03.1999-11.03.2001, 23.03.2009 Dr. med. Jörg M. Sigle, Kunstvolle EDV & Elektronik