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Old X-ray films to digital

I have old x-ray films, and I would like to convert them into digital format so I can upload to OpenEMR.
Has anyone done this? I would like to know what is the process to make this conversion.

Thank you.

Hi 2017
My understanding is that if you want to use these x-ray images for diagnostic purposes, the viewer must be an FDA- approved Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) which OpenEMR does not natively support so you’d need to set up a separate system. The internet provides links to many PACS of varying capabilities, and you can search this forum for the terms ‘DICOM’ (the industry standard image format) and ‘PACS’ to see the discussion on these topics as pertains to OpenEMR over the years.

However, if you only want to archive the x-rays, that is as simple as putting the negative on a light box, taking a picture of it with a digital camera and uploading the images into the patient’s record, to the ‘Documents’ section. You’ll need to create a new category named ‘X-rays’; that’s not one of the default ones. If you make them a standard image file type like .png you will be able to view them with OpenEMR’s native image viewer, accessed through the (non-FDA approved) ‘Document Uploader/Viewer’.
You’ll need to experiment to determine the image size and resolution that shows you what you want to see, just keep in mind how much space you have on your OpenEMR server!


Thank you for your information.

Base on your explanation, I choose the “non-FDA approved” at this time. Since OpenEMR does not have support PACS yet, I think it’s easier to have the images in OpenEMR in jpg format. I will create a new ‘X-rays’ category and upload the x-ray images there.

I’m also monitoring the size of the hard drive for the added image memory. Thank you for the suggestion.

Have a good day!

We do support DICOM via viewer in patient documents.

1 Like

Hi Jerry-
Thanks for the info- I learned something today!
Is the viewer FDA approved for use as a diagnostic tool?

Hi Huck,

At the time I help integrate into patient documents the library wasn’t approved for diagnostics.

I do remember documenting somewhat in my PR’s and maybe forum. Search around some as it is pretty cool.

It even does multi views if given dicoms in a zip.

Hi Jerry-
That sounds like it’s really useful even if it’s not FDA approved.
V. cool!

That sounds good.
Jerry: can I take a photo of the x-ray on the digital camera and save it in dicom, and upload in OpenEMR?

I crop the image and clean the edges. I’ve found that converting from jpg to dcm increase the file size 3 times. This will require a lot of hard drive space. Is this good or would you suggest a different way?