dcmrelay - Dicom Relay Utility
Features  Features

System Requirements  System Requirements

Tested Systems  Tested Systems

Documentation  Installation Docs

Download  Download

Authors  Authors
Release version 0.5, June 2010


Dcmrelay is a set of scripts developed in bash, to answer some very special needs. It has been first installed in Hospital Amato Lusitano (www.hal.min-saude.pt) in Portugal, but quickly spread over many hospitals to address the same requirements. Although simple, these set of scripts have proven to be useful and reliable to many situations. Perhaps they can help you.

Scenario 1 – We need to send medical images to an external entity. This was true when small hospitals have some period of time during the night or weekends, where radiologists are not available for some medical specialty. However, we don't want the medical workstation or modality to deal directly with the external entity, or we could have some firewall limitations, that makes very reasonable to forward images to an intermediate entity, that is then responsible for the relaying of those studies to the external entities, probably going through an image anonymization phase before sending those images.

Scenario 2 – On top of scenario 1, we can have an agreement with two different external entities, that provide reporting services. One could be a backup of the other. They could have different prices for the service, making one of them the best destination for medical reports until one particular time, say 20h00, but during the night, other entity provides a better or cheaper service. You will need to decide based on the hour, and have dcmrelay send to the best destination, without direct user intervention.

Scenario 3 – Sometimes it's very hard to change the IP address of a destination entity in a modality. We can even think of many situations, where we need or want to have an intermediate relay of images before sending them to final destination. One of those situations is when you want to change the contents of some elements in the medical images, or need to make some validation on the patient data. Even knowing this could impact negatively in the performance of a whole system.

Scenario 4 – You could just need to send the same images to two different destinations, but don't want to do it directly on all modalities. Dcmrelay allows sending to a primary and an optional destination.

Some of the utilities belong to other projects, like the OFFIS Dicom Toolkit that provides main features like dicom store SOP both as SCU and SCP.


Easy GPL'd solution for simple dicom file relay.

Bash files in source code that you can change.

Configuration file where the most used options are defined.

System requirements

  • A working Linux system, with kernel 2.2, 2.4 or 2.6
  • Root access to install dicom store SCP service, and create the dicom user.
  • 100 MBytes of available hard disk space.
  • The OFFIS DCMTK - Dicom toolkit.
  • Simple unix commands, like pidof, cut, sed and stat.
  • and of course, the dcmrelay files, from the sourceforge project page.

Tested systems

We have already tested the dicom relay package in:

  • RedHat 8.0, 9.0 Fedora Core 1, 2 and 3
  • Debian 2.1 (kernel 2.0.26), Debian 2.2 (kernel 2.2.19pre17)
  • SuSE 9.1, 9.2, 10.x, 11.x


Installation instructions are available in:

Installation specific problems:
  • Debian 2.2 : Missed the location of the pidof command, and the stat command had to be compiled and installed.
  • Debian 2.1 : Didn't supported the compilation of the OFFIS dcmtk. We had to download a binary version of the package. The location of pidof once again was wrong, and the stat command had to be compiled and installed.

Configuration parameters you should know in advance

  • Your dcmrelay local AET (Dicom association entity title) and PORT.
  • The remote destination IP address (where dcmrelay sends files).
  • Remote destinations AET (Dicom association entity title) and PORT.

There are other configuration parameters, described in Files in dcmrelay


Antonio Cardoso Martins - digiplan.pt@gmail.com

Elisio Martins Catana - eacatana@netvisao.pt

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