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AIM is the first project to propose and create a standard means of adding information and knowledge to an image in a clinical environment, so that image content can be easily and automatically searched. AIM provides a solution to the following imaging challenges:

  • No agreed upon syntax for annotation and markup
  • No agreed upon semantics to describe annotations
  • No standard format (for example, DICOM, XML, HL7) for annotations and markup

The AIM project includes the following tools.

  • The AIM Model captures the descriptive information for an image with user-generated graphical symbols placed on the image into a single common information source.
  • The AIM Toolkit has an AIM programming library written in C++ using DCMTK and Xerces for DICOM and XML creation and manipulation, respectively. The library has two logical components: implementation of the AIM information model as an AIM object model, and definition of transformations that can be performed on the AIM object model. The ANIVATR tool is a software application that shows how the library can be used. It is used for validating AIM annotations and transcoding between AIM XML and AIM DICOM SR.
  • The AIM Template Service is a web service application that makes it possible for you to upload (publish) and download AIM templates created using an AIM tool such as AIM Template Builder.
  • The AIM Template Builder is a Java application that allows you to build templates that are compatible with the AIM Model. Templates are a set of well-defined questions and answer choices that facilitate collecting information for a study. AIM Template Builder has replaced AIM Template Manager.
  • AIM on ClearCanvas Workstation is a referenced implementation of the AIM Model. AIM on ClearCanvas Workstation demonstrates how the AIM model and the AIM library can be applied in a real imaging diagnostic workstation. You can use AIM on ClearCanvas Workstation to create AIM XML documents and AIM DICOM SR objects that adhere to the AIM data model. You can also import a new AIM template XML document that represents a set of controlled questions and answers for each question. Typical users want to make simple and constrained annotations that are reproducible and consistent for the same kind of imaging study.


Technologies Used by the AIM Project

AIM developers used the following tools and technologies to develop components of applications in the AIM project.

  • Altova XMLSpy 2013 (Altova)
  • Berkeley DB XML by Oracle
  • Boost C++ library version 1.34.1 (
  • caCORE SDK 4.1.1 (caBIG®)
  • CMake 2.8.x and above
  • DCMTK version 3.6.x (OFFIS e. V.)  
  • Eclipse (Eclipse Foundation, Inc.) for Windows and Linux
  • Enterprise Architect version 10.x (Sparx Systems)
  • gcc, g++ 4.4.5 or above
  • Homebrew Package Installer for Mac OS X
  • Java JDK 6 (Sun Microsystems)
  • Linux OSes (Debian 6.0.x and above and Ubuntu version 11 and above)
  • Mac OS X 10.7.5 (Lion)
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and 2010 (Microsoft) with STL
  • Xcode 4.6.x and Xcode command line utilities
  • Xerces XML library version 3.0.1 (Apache Software Foundation)