MESA Overview

Steve Moore

Copyright (c) 1999-2001 Washington University


The Medical Enterprise Simulators and Analyzers (MESA) system is designed in response to a joint effort by the RSNA and HIMSS called Integrating the Healthcare Environment (IHE).  The RSNA and HIMSS have convened a group of industry experts who have produced the IHE Technical Framework which describes how to use existing standards (HL7, DICOM) to achieve IHE goals.  These industry experts (the IHE Technical Committee) also provide guidance to the RSNA and HIMSS about how to best achieve the technical goals of the IHE program.

One of the recommendations of the IHE Technical Committee was to call for an implementation of DICOM and HL7 software (applications and services).  A set of simulators which would communicate according to the IHE Technical Framework and provide message validation was defined by the IHE Technical Committee.  Each simulator was defined as a common component in a hospital enterprise (an HIS, a RIS).  Each component would follow the IHE Technical Framework and provide validation of messages received from peer applications.

The MESA system is divided into four component areas as described in the table below.  MESA developers may contribute to all of the areas listed in the table.  End users will likely be interested in a subset of the software.

Component Description
Facilities Subroutines, classes and frameworks that provide low level 
functionality for applications.
Simulators The high-level demonstration applications which communicate 
with peer applications and provide message validation.
Utility Programs These applications test specific parts of the system or provide 
simple tools.
Documentation A WWW based system of documentation (html and pdf).

Simulator and Tests System Overview

The Simulators and Test Systems consist of a number of command-line driven applications, input data files (both text and binary) and perl scripts.  The Simulators and Test Systems have no graphical user interfaces at this time.  The perl scripts which are used to construct the test data and drive the test procedures are the glue that holds the system together.

Display Consistency

The IHE Year 2 project added hardcopy/softcopy display consistency.  Test tools and test plans were developed under a separate contract and are an extension of the OFFIS DICOMScope software.  Those tools are maintained by OFFIS, and we are grateful for their contribution.

Other Contributions

Other organizations have made substantial contributions to IHE testing software. Many of these contributions are hosted on separate web servers and are not part of the release you will find at this web site. The distibution page for this web site will list the locations of those other contributions.