Clinical trials play a crucial role in testing new drugs or devices in modern medicine. Medical imaging has also become
an important tool in clinical trials because images provide a unique and fast diagnosis with visual observation and
quantitative assessment. A typical imaging-based clinical trial consists of: 1) A well-defined rigorous clinical trial
protocol, 2) a radiology core that has a quality control mechanism, a biostatistics component, and a server for storing and
distributing data and analysis results; and 3) many field sites that generate and send image studies to the radiology core.
As the number of clinical trials increases, it becomes a challenge for a radiology core servicing multiple trials to have a
server robust enough to administrate and quickly distribute information to participating radiologists/clinicians worldwide.
The Data Grid can satisfy the aforementioned requirements of imaging based clinical trials. In this paper, we present a
Data Grid architecture for imaging-based clinical trials. A Data Grid prototype has been implemented in the Image
Processing and Informatics (IPI) Laboratory at the University of Southern California to test and evaluate performance in
storing trial images and analysis results for a clinical trial. The implementation methodology and evaluation protocol of
the Data Grid are presented.
With the development of PACS technology and an increasing demand by medical facilities to become filmless, there is a need for a fast and efficient method of providing data backup for disaster recovery and downtime scenarios. At the Image Processing Informatics Lab (IPI), an ASP Backup Archive was developed using a fault-tolerant server with a T1 connection to serve the PACS at the St. John's Health Center (SJHC) Santa Monica, California. The ASP archive server has been in clinical operation for more than 18 months, and its performance was presented at this SPIE Conference last year. This paper extends the ASP Backup Archive to serve the PACS at the USC Healthcare Consultation Center II (HCC2) utilizing an Internet2 connection. HCC2 is a new outpatient facility that recently opened in April 2004. The Internet2 connectivity between USC's HCC2 and IPI has been established for over one year. There are two novelties of the current ASP model: 1) Use of Internet2 for daily clinical operation, and 2) Modifying the existing backup archive to handle two sites in the ASP model.
This paper presents the evaluation of the ASP Backup Archive based on the following two criteria: 1) Reliability and performance of the Internet2 connection between HCC2 and IPI using DICOM image transfer in a clinical environment, and 2) Ability of the ASP Fault-Tolerant backup archive to support two separate clinical PACS sites simultaneously. The performances of using T1 and Internet2 at the two different sites are also compared.