Student PACS About The Student PACS Software

The SPACS Module

firefoxThe SPACS module is a self contained Macromedia Flashâ„¢ animation that presents serial images, like those from a CT or MRI study, in a simulated PACS interface. This allows medical students and residents sitting at their own computers to experience the human body like they would at the expensive PACS workstations that are quickly replacing view boxes at all major hospitals. Users of our modules can flip through images, zoom in, and pan around to follow structures through slices of images at their own pace. Pre-defined areas of interest, which we call "findings" can be clicked on by the user, prompting the program to ask a set of questions. Because our modules are created in Flash, they are inherently easy to distribute, either over the web or by any other means. File sizes are small and the compatibility is nearly universal.

The SPACS Extension Panel

How useful would our teaching modules be if we were the only ones who could make them? Not very useful, we thought, and so we took things a step further and created a Macromedia Flash extension panel that lets just about anyone with a need to teach anatomy or radiology create their own modules.

Download The SPACS Extension

This is the latest StudentPACS extension. For anyone who wants to teach anatomy and radiology, the price is an email to ian@studentpacs.com telling us what you think and a link to any cases that you post. Flash Professional 8 required. Please refer to the manual below before installing. If you still have any questions, please contact ian@studentpacs.com for help.

FAQ's about our Extension:

  1. I get an error message "A script in this movie is causing Flash Player to run slowly. If it continues to run, your computer may become unresponsive. Do you wish to abort the script?"
    • JUST CLICK NO to this message. There is no way to avoid this message unfortunately, because it is a safeguard built into Flash. We assure you that this message is harmless as we have tested our scripts sufficiently to know that they will not crash your computer, although large numbers of large files may take many minutes to process, depending on your computer.
  2. What types of images are supported by your extension?
    • JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG, and TIFF
  3. How many images can I use and how big can they be?
    • You can use up to 99 images of any size but you should consider how much RAM your target audience is likely to have in their computers and your method of delivery. A module created from 100 1024x768 jpgs for example, will take up about 13 megabytes on disk, which is appropriate for broadband internet streaming and certainly small enough for CD-ROM distribution but would be unusable to anyone with a dialup connection. When that same module is opened in a web browser, however, it will take up about 320 megabytes of RAM. This is a reasonable number for most home computers with at least 512 megabytes of ram but could easily choke up the older computers that one commonly finds in educational and public settings, especially if many programs are running at once. We recommend not exceeding 300 megabytes of RAM usage in any module you create. An easy way to check is by opening your file in an internet browser (use a new browser window and make sure you don't have more than one browser window or tab open). Scroll to the last image of the module and then hold Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open the Task Manager. Click on the "Processes" tab and then look for your browser, either "Iexplorer.exe" or "Firefox.exe" and follow the row to the right to see how much memory is being used.
  4. The SPACS extension panel creates an error message right after importing my images, saying ".... requires a selection."
    • To fix this problem, go to the Folder Options menu in Windows and uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types."
  5. I get a NaN error when trying to create a new module, after directing the program to a folder of source images.
    • To fix this problem, reduce the number of images in the source folder.