Nuclear Medicine Display Freeware

The Society of Nuclear Medicine
2007 Annual Meeting
Washington, DC

Sunday 3-June-2007 3:00-3:45 PM
Monday 4-June-2007 3:00-3:45 PM

J. Anthony Parker, MD PhD

See: Shareware & Freeware Image Display Programs for NM
Software highlighted at 2009 SNM Annual Meeting
Jerold W. Wallis, MD, J. Anthony Parker, MD PhD


The following list is a personal compilation of freeware which can be used to display Nuclear Medicine data. The definition of freeware is more complicated than I initially appreciated. Cost of software often depends upon the existing environment. For an engineer who already has MatLab, freeware written in the MatLab language is free. For others, purchase of MatLab will make the total cost of the freeware quite expensive. The most complete Radiology workstation freeware is Osirix. However, Osirix only runs on Mac OS X. For users who don't have a Macintosh, Osirix requires purchase of a whole new system. Hence rather than sticking to my assigned task, I have broadened it to include an idiosyncratic selection of freeware, shareware, and a few examples of commercial software.

Display freeware is often built upon processing and display toolkits. In the first section, I list a few of these toolkits. In the second section, I list a few general image display programs which can use DICOM (uck!) as input. These general programs might be adequate in some circumstances to display Nuclear Medicine images. The third section has a few other lists of display software available on the web. The fourth, fifth, and sixth sections are the key sections. The fourth section lists software that is in some sense Nuclear Medicine aware. The fifth section lists software that can be sent with the image data from a server to a Java competent browser. The final section has the only fully functional Radiology workstation.

There are marked differences between the various software packages, even within a particular section. Some software performs a fairly specific task, other is more general. Some software is easily extensible, other not. Some software comes with installers making simplifying instillation, other is difficult to get running. Some software is buggy, other is highly reliable.

The date when listed is the most recent date of the software or web site which I found. When a sponsor was prominently listed I have included that information, but this information is incomplete and inexact.

Bottom Line: For someone looking for a full-function, reliable, radiology workstation, OsiriX is in a class by itself. It outshines expensive commercial software. Because attention has been given to performance, it runs on a single platform, OS X. A cross platform alternative is ImageJ. Its small foot print allows it to be run not only as an application, but also as an applet within any Java competent browser. It is supplemented by a vast array of plugins including plugins from a broad user community. The disadvantage of this diversity is complexity in discovering just which plugins will perform a particular task.

For those users with an engineering background, MatLab or possibly FreeMat should be considered. Those users who are also interested in image processing should consider looking into the National Alliance for Medical Image Computing and the Slicer display software. This software makes available and extends the itk and vtk toolkits. (Of note, OsiriX is also extensible providing access to the itk and vtk toolkits.)

But, other programs listed below or not listed at all may have the right combination of ease of use and functionality that fits your particular task.

I. Enabling Software

PixelMed: DICOM (uck!) toolkit

Other DICOM (uck!) Toolkits

NA-MIC kit: National Alliance for Medical Image Computing

vtk: Visualization Toolkit

itk: Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit


IDL: Interactive Data Language

MatLab: Matrix Laboratory


II. Image Display Applications: General

Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended

Graphic Converter

Graphics Converter Pro

Many More

III. Lists of Image Display Applications

Internet Analysis Tools Registry

3D Reconstruction Software

Many More, e.g. SNM Computer & Instrumentation Council

IV. Image Display Applications: Nuclear Medicine

AMIDE: Medical Imaging Data Examiner


Dr. Razz



GE MicroView & SliceView?

Philips DICOM Viewer


Imread Dicom Programs


KIS: Kinetic Imaging System


MIPAV - Medical Image Processing, Analysis, and Visualization


MRIcro / MRIcron


Nuclear Medicine Mini-PACS & PET-CT Viewer

Has not been availabe since publication



(X)Medcom: Medical Image Conversion Utility

VR-Render: Advanced 3D Volume Rendering & MPR Viewer

V. Image Display Applets: Nuclear Medicine

ImageJ (see above applications)

KIS: Kinetic Imaging System (see above applications)

Radscaper: Display Applet and CGI

VI. Radiology Workstation


If your favorite freeware has not been included or there are mistakes above, please let me know about it.

J. Anthony Parker, MD PhD