Orthanc is a free, open-source, lightweight, RESTful, standalone DICOM server enabling secure and easy exchange of information between departments, physicians and hospitals. The fully self-contained mini PACS system can be downloaded and run immediately. Its target audience primarily consists of the network administrators of a hospital, and of the researchers in the field of biomedical imaging. Orthanc has a REST API, a means of connecting with the image server by using standard web protocols and tools. This allows Orthanc to be accessed through Web connections from anywhere, and without regard to the platform or language used in the originating program.
Orthanc also features a Software development kit (SDK), enabling the development of plugins that extends the core system. For instance, as official plugins, Orthanc can be extended with a Web viewer of medical images, with support of the DICOMweb standard and with PostgreSQL as the database back-end instead of SQLite. Some third-party plugins are available as well.
Mainly thanks to the rich plugin infrastructure inside Orthanc, future evolutions will span more specialized applications (e.g. the support of DICOM-RT for radiotherapy and nuclear medicine or the support of DICOM for digital pathology), more advanced user interfaces and smoother interfacing with external computing environments (e.g. a revamped native C++ SDK, a virtual FUSE filesystem, an embedded FTP server, or extensions to well-known tools such as OsiriX or Slicer).
The author of Orthanc, Sébastien Jodogne, was given the Award for the Advancement of Free Software by the Free Software Foundation.