Appropriate use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Mechatronic (MT) systems is considered by many experts as a significant contribution to improve workflow and quality of care in the Operating Room (OR). This will require a suitable IT infrastructure as well as communication and interface standards, such as DICOM and suitable extensions, to allow data interchange between surgical system components in the OR. A conceptual design of such an infrastructure, i.e. a Therapy Imaging and Model Management System (TIMMS) will be introduced in this paper.
A TIMMS should support the essential functions that enable and advance image, and in particular, patient model guided therapy. Within this concept, the image centric world view of the classical PACS technology is complemented by an IT model-centric world view. Such a view is founded in the special modelling needs of an increasing number of modern surgical interventions as compared to the imaging intensive working mode of diagnostic radiology, for which PACS was originally conceptualised and developed.
A proper design of a TIMMS, taking into account modern software engineering principles, such as service oriented architecture, will clarify the right position of interfaces and relevant standards for a Surgical Assist System (SAS) in general and their components specifically. Such a system needs to be designed to provide a highly modular structure. Modules may be defined on different granulation levels. A first list of components (e.g. high and low level modules) comprising engines and repositories of an SAS, which should be integrated by a TIMMS, will be introduced in this paper.