Monday, September 26, 2005

DICOM - Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine

Part 1: Introduction and Overview

ACR - American College of Radiology

NEMA - National Electrical Manufacturers Association

PACS - Picture Archiving and Communication Systems


ACR and NEMA recognize the emerging need for a standard method for transferring images and the associated information between devices manufactured by various vendors, and hence form a joint committee in 1983 -

  • Promote communication of digital image information, regardless of device manufacturer
  • Facilitate the development and expansion of PACS that can also interface with other systems of hospital information
  • Allow creation of diagnostic information databases that can allow interrogation by a large variety of devices spread out geographically

The Dicom Standard

  • Supports operation in a networked environment using TCP / IP
  • Applicable to an off-line media environment (industry std. media: CD-R, MOD, logical filesystems: ISO 9660, PC File System)
  • Specifies how devices claiming conformance to the Standard react to commands and data being exchanged (through semantic classes)
  • Specifies levels of conformance ( describes how an implementor should structure a Conformance Statement to select specific options )
  • Structured as a multi-part document. Facilitates evolution of the Standard by simplifying the addition of new features
  • Introduces explicit Information Objects.
  • Specifies established technique for uniquely identifying any Information Object. Facilitates unambiguous definitions of relationships between Information Objects as they are acted upon across the network

The Dicom Standard


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