WG-17 3D

SecretariatMedical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA)
Shayna Knazik, sknazik@dicomstandard.org
ChairsAlyssa Glennon, Yale School of Medicine
Justin Ryan, Rady Children's Hospital-SD
Last strategy update2019-10-02
MinutesWG-17 minutes
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  • New Approved Scope as of April 2019: Extend and promote the use of DICOM for the creation, storage and management of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality models in a healthcare setting, where the model is either (a) derived from medical images, or (b) expected to be compared / composited with medical images.

Current Supplements, Work and Objectives:

  • Reorganized WG-17 to ensure all 3D+ technologies are represented
    • Change the name of WG-17 to “3D”
  • Maintain a working relationship with:
    • ASME
    • RSNA’s 3D Special Interest Group
  • Maintain a working relationship with other DICOM Work Groups currently responsible for related Information Object Definitions (IODs): Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance, Encapsulated PDF, and Secondary Capture
  • Propose a new IOD, with references to existing IODs, to address the remaining priority needs of the medical 3D+ community (color 3D printing and AR/VR/MR)
    • Store 3D printing models in the Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) and Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) systems in a manner that allows direct association with the relevant patient (and any source images from which the model was derived)
    • Allow for clinical users to review 3D+models in the context of relevant patient images, prior to printing
  • Perform further gap analysis of the existing DICOM Standard with respect to potential 3D+requirements (e.g. intermediate segmentation representation)
  • Establish priorities for filling gaps identified
  • WG-17 3D hopes to encourage adoption of encapsulated STL and OBJ file formats among users and suppliers through publications and society presentations. 

Challenges and Opportunities (Environment):

  • The current level of enthusiasm for a Standards-based approach in both end-user and vendor community appears high.
  • There are a number of competing native data format Standards for high fidelity 3D models outside of medicine, and no “lingua franca” appears to be developing in the near term
    • Different vendors and end-user communities favor different data formats as their primary working one
    • DICOM would need to take fairly neutral approach with respect to working with these data formats (suggesting an encapsulation approach, similar to what was done with PDF)
    • The STL data format, although older and limited, is near universally supported and thus may be leveraged as a baseline, to maximize interoperability
  • A 3D shape visualization capability of PDF is used at many institutions as part of the preview workflow
    • This appears to be compatible with DICOM PDF encapsulation IOD as it exists today
  • Unlike the case with medical printers, there appears to be no good case for DICOM directly support communicating with 3D printers themselves
    • There exists a final stage of preparing a 3D model for a specific printer’s capabilities and build material options before initiating printing
    • This final stage is already well addressed by vendors in this space and has no dependency on whether the object to be printed is related to a patient or is for some other purpose
    • DICOM’s scope can thus stop after delivering a 3D model to this final prep software
  • Many institutions have extended their 3D visualization labs to encompass 3D printing requests from clinical staff
    • This presents a community with knowledge of other DICOM-enabled workflow that could be leveraged for WG activities.
  • STL and OBJ encapsulation provides an additional traceability data point for 3D visualization labs in support of quality and regulatory focused activities, particularly in anticipation of a more regulated environment.

Future Roadmap and Objectives (Committee Direction):

  • The WG-17 roadmap is based upon the analysis of the 3D+ data and workflow needs through a Standard framework. The results of this analysis would then be used to specify information objects and services needed to best serve patients and the imaging-based 3D printing medical community.
  • As much as possible and compatible with DICOM guiding principles, the new specifications this would be proposed in a manner to (a) leverage the existing and growing ecosystem of DICOM-capable systems in use in healthcare institutions and (b) leverage Standards already in use in the 3D+ industry.
  • The ultimate goal is a comprehensive, Standards-based digital platform for 3D+ in the patient care setting, of which DICOM-based imaging would be a significant part.

Past Work:

  • Completion of Sup/205 and adoption into the 2018b specification of DICOM.
  • STL was IANA registered.
  • WG-17 completed Supplement 205, DICOM Encapsulation of STL Models for 3D for the encapsulation of the STL 3D file format. This supplement became part of the 2018b DICOM specification.
  • WG-17 completed Supplement 208: DICOM Encapsulation of OBJ Models for 3D Manufacturing and Virtual Reality for the encapsulation of the OBJ 3D file format.  This supplement became part of the 2020a DICOM specification.