A Reality check for server side rendering

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Server side rendering is the talk of the medical imaging world today.  The basic premise being that server side is faster and more efficient than client side rendering.  Since servers typically have faster processors than workstations, there are situations where this is completely true.

Server side rendering is optimal when:
  • Utilizing older workstations, tablets, and mobile devices to view the image
  • Viewing a study, such as Cardiac CT, where a smaller set of renderings are needed (as opposed to the entire 1,000 slice image)
  • Use of image streaming (lossy compression) is acceptable
  • Using a low latency network (server is physically located close to the user)
While server side rendering certainly has its place in the medical imaging world, it is not the only option.  Client side rendering still plays an important role, and there are certain situations where rendering on the client side is either more efficient or legally required.
Client side rendering is best when:
  • Lossless images are required, such as when doing mammography or breast imaging tomosynthesis
  • Multiple interactions are required in order to render, such as real-time motion play or simultaneous stack scrolling
  • Using a high latency network (the server is geographically far from the user)
  • There are more users on the network than the server can handle
Like so many other things in life and health IT, image rendering is not a one-size-fits-all situation.  Do your research, understand your options and don’t let the industry buzz confuse what is best for your facility.
  Server-Side Rendering Client-Side Rendering
Viewing where lossy image streaming is acceptable X  
Cardiac CT image viewing X  
Image viewing from tablet, phone, or older workstation X  
Real-time play or simultaneous stack scrolling multiple images together   X
Requirement for lossless image display   X
Large numbers of intensive users vs rendering server capacity   X
High latency network   X

Originally posted on: 5/9/2016 9:51:48 AM

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