Wednesday, 13 January 2010

ClearCanvas 2.0 Beta – External Applications Feature

I managed to get ClearCanvas to pull reports from our own RIS system using the external applications featureimage in the new Beta 2.0 version.

Thanks to Jonathan for pointing me to the new ClearCanvas channel on YouTube

Our RIS application has a web interface that allows for reports to be accessed using a basic URL. So all I did was point an external application to internet explorer and add the relevant parameters to it.


The $001000020$ tag is for the patient ID, which is what we currently use to identify patient reports. You can pull out any dicom tag using this tool.

I did however find that I was unable to use normal command line shortcuts like %SystemRoot% or %ProgramFiles% shortcuts. But it is not a major train smash.

Below is the video from ClearCanvas that explains how to setup an external application.


This is yet another great new feature added by ClearCanvas that can have many applications. Here are a coupe of other ideas on things that can be done with this great feature:

Convert Images to JPG:

You can use dcmj2pnm.exe from DCMTK ( to convert images to JPG.
Check out the screenshot below: This converts the image to a 1024 width JPG image.

I still need to figure out a method of using this feature to convert all images in a series, but at the moment the screenshot below will help you convert single images.


Email Images Using Blat:

You can get blat from

I think the screenshot below explains it pretty well. Just remember that you will need relay rights in order to use this. The script below will also only send the images to one person and one image at a time. I think It would be possible to write a bat script to do it more efficiently.


Emailing Multiple JPG Images

It should be possible to create a bat script that uses the above applications to convert images to JPG and then attach them to an email to be sent to an email address obtained from the user via a prompt. I am going to work on this a bit and see what I can come up with.

If there are any other external command line applications that you would like to see being used in ClearCanvas and you need a hand drop a comment with some information and I’ll see if I can help out.

Once again, thanks to the ClearCanvas team for make a really great application and continuing to add useful features!