Love Open Source? A Hybrid PACS Solution Might Be For You

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People like to stay in their comfort zones. And if those zones are efficient solutions, then sure - why change anything? That’s why when we hear from clients that say that they love their desktop viewer and don’t want to discontinue using Horos, OsiriX, or whatever - we get it. But a desktop viewer alone won’t solve all your problems. Here is how a hybrid solution might be what you have been waiting for…

Free Open Source DICOM Viewers

Viewers like Horos are extremely popular in the medical community for many reasons. 1) Horos is free. 2) Unlike other advertised “free” open source viewers that have taken out essential functions, trying to upsell you to the paid for version, Horos is fully functional. 3) No strings attached. Horos is free to download. While we offer paid support for the really tough questions, we recommend Horos Academy to all of our users. It’s video training taught by the experts. It’s not in real time, so you can watch the tutorials at your own pace.

The long and short of it, however, is that a great deal of people prefer their desktop viewers because of the above benefits. It gets the job nearly done. What’s the hiccup? There are features that medical professionals need like instant access, reporting, and even Cloud storage that are not built into the applications. That’s where a hybrid solution allows you to get the best of both worlds: free open source and paid Cloud.

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If you are a radiologist or any physician that needs to create a report, you’ll find that your favorite open source DICOM viewer falls short of that task. You have to use a completely separate platform to do that, and it can get to be cumbersome for many reasons but the most painstaking is the lack of organization. It’s too many clicks and too time consuming. Well, you can actually integrate Horos to an existing local or Cloud based PACS. Once implemented, you can just click on the reports icon and build out your report. With the Cloud in the picture, you can create and customize templates, share, and print reports.


Local desktop viewing stations installed with Horos are not capable to hold a large amount of studies for a long duration. Horos is a great viewing solution. In fact, it is currently running a fundraising campaign to pursue FDA/CE and other certifications. What’s really fabulous is that even upon becoming certified, Horos plans on remaining free as a fully functional open source product. Click here to learn more or to donate to the cause. However, all that being said, Horos was not built to be a PACS. It was not built to store your imaging. That’s why the more images and files you have on your application, the slower it will get. It’s possible that it might even crash, and since there is no backup, you could lose everything...permanently.


Being restricted to the Horos application on your viewing station at you practice is limiting. You cannot go to another location and pull those records unless if you manually export the images and upload them at your new location. No one really wants to spend the time doing that when they can be doing another read. With the Cloud, you can literally access your images at anytime, anywhere….so long as you have internet connection.

Final Thought

Horos has avid users in 160 countries. It is one of (if not the most) preferred free open source DICOM viewers in the world. So, while your solution is not broke, we still recommend fixing it. A hybrid solution allows you to get the best of both worlds. From the integration, you can keep your desktop viewer and get the ability to access, store, and report on your images...all without limits.

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