Can our MRI machine be converted to Windows XP?
July 1, 2009 9:58 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any experience with a Philips Marconi Eclipse 1.5 MRI scanner? Can it be run from a Windows-based machine?

Presently, our Philips Marconi Eclipse 1.5 MRI scanner is operated using a workstation running Red Hat Linux, and VIA 2.0 Scan Suite software.

The lack of compatibilty with other essential sofwares has become burdensome. The hoops which must be jumped through have become detrimental to routine work patterns, and have doubled related ordinary workloads.

Understanding the "failings and limitations" [sic] of XP, what we want to do now is switch to a Windows XP system, with which the rest of the 20 machines at our office and ALL of our providers are currently using.

Suggestions? Advisements? Recommendations?
posted by humannaire to Technology (11 answers total)
I don't know the first thing about your MRI or whether it can be run from Windows (I suspect that it can), but as an alternative could your put VirtualBox on the machine and just have a virtualized Windows install for your normal office programs? Also, can't you contact the manufacturer about this? There must be some sort of technical support for a machine like that.
posted by Who_Am_I at 10:37 AM on July 1, 2009

This smells a bit like an "XY problem." You have problem X and you think Y is the solution, so you ask for help in implementing Y. However, you may not need to switch. What do you mean by "essential softwares?"
posted by rhizome at 12:03 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]

This sounds like something you absolutely must take up with the vendor, since your scanner probably has a support agreement.
posted by pmbuko at 12:30 PM on July 1, 2009

Best answer: We have two MRIs, and yep, Toshiba would have a fit if we just tried to switch over the workstation to another OS, or indeed, do any mods/updates to the workstation at all. From your jobs posting, the problem is this, right?:

"Want to burn CDs DIRECTLY from the workstation.

Presently, unable to burn CDs directly from scan workstation.

As it stands, the only option would be for MRI scans to exported to a second machine running eFilm, where CDs would be burnt.

But then in order for patients to view their own files/scans, on a THIRD machine the CD would have to be used to create a second CD and a copy of eFilm lite."

Our setup is similar - the workstation ("modality") exports the films to two destinations - the eFilm workstation (which has a 500GB secondary drive), and an offsite reading facility's PACS. CDs are burned on the eFilm station. However - and I'll have to check on this - I think the same eFilm station can create CDs with the images and an embedded version of eFilm lite, if the patient requests it.

As for patient viewing - that's pretty rare in our practice. Who actually needs to be reading these MRIs? Your own practice physicians, or are you just providing the MRI service?
posted by HopperFan at 8:49 PM on July 1, 2009

Response by poster: This sounds like something you absolutely must take up with the vendor, since your scanner probably has a support agreement.

No. We don't have a support agreement for software. The service company we have a support agreement does NOT support software.
posted by humannaire at 1:48 PM on July 2, 2009

Response by poster: oops...should read "The service company WITH WHOM we have a support agreement does NOT support software."
posted by humannaire at 1:56 PM on July 2, 2009

I assume this MRI machine is used in medical contexts, and is probably required to . But I'm not in that field. Assuming you can change these things without dire consequences, I fail to see why Redhat can't burn CDs.
posted by pwnguin at 7:29 PM on July 2, 2009

Err, Is required to be approved, licensed and bonded before being touched or modified.
posted by pwnguin at 7:31 PM on July 2, 2009

Best answer: I just checked with the MRI/CT folks - they can, in fact, burn CDs with both the images and eFilm Lite on the XP workstation where the images are directly exported to from the MRI.

To make this easier to reference, let's call them "W" workstation, "A" where the images are exported to, and "B" where they're exported a second time to burn CDs with eFilm light.

I mentioned your dilemma to them, and they said that since this is a function of eFilm, there should be no reason why A shouldn't be able to burn them correctly. Unless, possibly, you have an older version of eFilm on that machine? Or if eFilm just isn't working correctly, period. You could always take A out of the picture - just transfer the images over to B. You wouldn't have to change anything on W if you give A's IP to B.

Bear in mind that eFilm will get slower and slower (we witnessed this), as more images are saved to its local database. It's just the nature of its design, as it's the Workstation version, not a full PACS.
posted by HopperFan at 7:33 AM on July 3, 2009

And also - eFilm doesn't run on Linux, but you probably knew that. So your jobs posting where you wanted the Linux person to help you figure out how to burn CDs directly at the MRI workstation - not gonna happen with eFilm.

If the images are actually stored permanently on W (which I suspect they might not be, actually), perhaps you could find some other dicom viewer that does work on Linux. Seems like that would be a lot more work, though.
posted by HopperFan at 7:49 AM on July 3, 2009

Response by poster: Hopperfan, thanks for all your input. As I see it, our "A" machine is also running linux and some Philips software that is burning the CDs. (Why isn't it on the "W" workstation, I don't know.)

Here's what I learned. When our technician sent the dicom images from "W" to "B" (running eFilm and (of course) XP)), the files arrives in some sort of numerical naming system that made them very difficult to discern one from the other. As I understand it.

I will look further into this Monday. As it stands, I believe upgrading out Merge eFilm software may be the answer. Thanks again! Best answer.
posted by humannaire at 8:43 PM on July 3, 2009

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