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VistA Imaging Services Architecture (VISA). Class 764 Julian Werfel. VistA Imaging. System evolved since late 1980s Collection of client and server applications Image and Text Gateway Routing Purge and Background Processor Verifier VistARad Clinical Display, Capture and TeleReader

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VistA Imaging Services Architecture (VISA)

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Vista imaging services architecture visa

VistA Imaging Services Architecture (VISA)

Class 764

Julian Werfel

Vista imaging

VistA Imaging

  • System evolved since late 1980s

  • Collection of client and server applications

    • Image and Text Gateway

    • Routing

    • Purge and Background Processor

    • Verifier

    • VistARad

    • Clinical Display, Capture and TeleReader

    • Management Utilities (MAG Enterprise, ET Phone Home)

As is architecture

As Is Architecture

  • Several clients all doing similar tasks

  • Business logic in server and client

  • Functionality not encapsulated

  • Difficult to reuse existing functionality

  • Each application creates own access to data (many RPC calls)

  • Proprietary Storage

  • Very functional system providing access to over 1.4 billion images

As is architecture1

As Is Architecture

  • Clients require intimate knowledge of internal systems

  • Difficult to add new functionality (particularly to multiple clients)

  • Functionality duplicated

    • Several clients do the same job (display images, generate abstracts, store images)

    • Business logic sometimes in client, sometimes in server

As is architecture2

As Is Architecture

  • Business functionality not consistently applied

    • Clients do same tasks differently

  • Functional redundancy in Remote Procedure Calls (similar but inconsistent)

  • Difficult to share data with other groups/enterprises

As is architecture logical view

As Is Architecture Logical View

As is remote image views

As Is Remote Image Views

  • Client handles all communication with remote sites

Transitional architecture

Transitional Architecture

  • Business logic moves from client and databases to middle tier

  • Service oriented facades to express Imaging to the enterprise using industry standards

  • Use latest languages and technologies (Java, Web Services)

  • Transition occurs over several years as part of several patches

Transitioning with visa

Transitioning with VISA

  • VistA Imaging Service Architecture

    • SOA for VistA Imaging

  • Provides framework for VistA Imaging components and functionality as services

  • Improves maintainability and reusability

    • Sharing of similar functionality

  • Componentization provides extensibility

Transitioning with visa1

Transitioning with VISA

  • Faster addition of new features and sources of data

  • Separate clients from actual sources of data

    • Sources can change without client changes

  • Clients do less work

  • First implementation is Imaging Patch 83 VIX (VistA Imaging Exchange) service for sharing images with DoD

Transitional architecture logical view

Transitional Architecture Logical View

Visa layers

VISA Layers

Visa components

VISA Components

Visa processing sequence

VISA Processing Sequence

  • Facade – entry point to clients. Translates client requests into core business semantics

  • Command Factory – used by Facades to create a command

  • Command – Executes business functionality

  • Artifact Source Resolution Service – Resolves the location of the data for the command into URLs

  • Data Source Factory – Creates a Data Source from the URL for the command

  • Data Source – provides data access for the command. Converts source information into core business semantics

Visa provides

VISA Provides

  • Separation of client and source

    • Clients can communicate with multiple sources without understanding semantics of that source

  • New Data Sources can be added without changing business logic

  • Facades, Data Sources and Commands are installable

    • A VISA implementation may only include certain components

    • Multiple products come from same core but include different pieces

Visa provides1

VISA Provides

  • Developed as J2SE objects, does not require J2EE infrastructure

    • Lower overhead requirements

  • Abstraction of functionality to increase reusability

    • Similar functionality is used in several places consistently

Visa flexibility

VISA Flexibility

  • Allows faster interfacing with multiple sources of data

  • Provide data to new interfaces and clients quickly

  • VA/DoD Artifact sharing with XCA (Cross Community Access)

  • Will be able to support NHIN (National Health Information Network) and VLER (Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record)

Implementations of visa

Implementations of VISA

  • VIX Service – Imaging Patch 83

    • Share images with DoD, Enhanced Remote Image Views for VA

  • New DICOM Gateway – Imaging Patch 34

    • Store all DICOM objects

    • New data structure for storing images

      • Increase efficiency

      • Groundwork for subsequent enhancements

Implementations of visa1

Implementations of VISA

  • New Image Storage Management System – Patch 112

  • Centralized VIX (CVIX) – Imaging Patch 104/105

    • Provide VA images to VistaWeb users

    • VA/DoD artifact sharing

    • NCAT (Neurocognitive Assessment Test) reports for VA users

Consumers of visa services

Consumers of VISA Services

  • Clinical Display Enhanced Remote Image Views with VIX – Imaging Patch 93

  • VistARad Viewing DoD and Remote VA images – Imaging Patch 90

  • DoD Artifact Viewing in Clinical Display – Future Imaging Patch

  • Advanced Web Image Viewer (AWIV) – Imaging Patch 105

Enhanced riv benefits

Enhanced RIV Benefits

  • Take advantage of VIX Caching and Compression

    • Image is compressed at source before transfer over WAN

    • Compressed image higher quality

    • Image cached at local and remote VIX

  • VIX handles remote connection rather than client

    • Fewer connections over WAN

  • Enhanced RIV seamless to user

Enhanced remote image views

Enhanced Remote Image Views

  • Images cached and compressed to improve performance

Vix implementation of visa

VIX Implementation of VISA

Federation component view

Federation Component View

  • VISA shares components

Reducing client connections

Reducing Client Connections

  • Client makes request to VIX, improves security and performance

Visa va dod image sharing

VISA VA/DoD Image Sharing

  • NDAA El Paso project

  • VIX implements VISA

  • VistARad and Clinical Display consume VISA services

Future visa va dod image sharing

Future VISA VA/DoD Image Sharing

  • Client access through site VIX

  • Site VIX communicates with CVIX

Cvix implementation of visa

CVIX Implementation of VISA

Visa implementations and consumers

VISA Implementations and Consumers

To be architecture

To Be Architecture

  • Image access and other services encapsulated by VISA

  • Clients consume VISA services

  • Enhanced M database structure

    • Storing both DICOM and non-DICOM objects

  • Clients focus on display of data rather than business logic processing

To be architecture logical view

To Be Architecture Logical View

Vista imaging services architecture visa


  • 21st Century Design

  • Easier to add new functionality

  • Encapsulation

  • Shared functionality

  • Clients focus on client behavior rather than business logic

  • Reusability and consistency



Julian Werfel

(240) 638-2634

Visa design team

VISA Design Team

  • Julian Werfel (

  • Keith Buck (

  • Chris Beckey (

  • Csaba Titton (

  • Roger Coney (

  • Dezso Csipo (

Future image sharing

Future Image Sharing

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