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With many studies it is necessary to collect data from multiple sites. With a single XNAT instance this can mean manual uploads from every site, with significant human overhead and increased risk of errors.
XNAT can receive DICOM from the network, however, DICOM is not a secure protocol and should not be used on unsecured networks. This meant that scanner technicians would have to log into XNAT via HTTPS and upload DICOM.
The solution is remote relay on the same network as the scanner.
A remote relay is managed XNAT server that will receive DICOM from one or more scanners and push sessions to another XNAT using Xsync to securely push the DICOM to an upstream XNAT system. However, this XNAT server is very light weight and usually on very small foot print hardware such as an Intel NUC
Very little compute power is needed, however, reliability is essential. We have had very good results from the Intel NUC computing platform with SSD storage. Here is a typical build we have used in 2016/2017:
Raw k-space data can be rather data high volume and requires more storage. While the NUC with an SSD could potentially store 4TB of data if using all SSD, the cost becomes very high. In this case we build a mini-server.
In order to collect raw data the data relay must be connected directly to the scanner's back end network.