Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM)

Dr Mark Thurston and Andrew Murphy et al.

Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) is a worldwide standard for the storage and transmission of medical imaging. The standard therefore defines both a file format and a networking protocol. It has been developed with input from members of the DICOM standards committee, with representation from both manufacturers and users (including ACR, RSNA, and ESR, as well as societies representing other users e.g. cardiologists) 1.

A formal protocol (such as DICOM) defines the way that devices talk with one another and store their program data.  The aim of using the published DICOM standard is to ensure that devices made by different companies speak the same language and can, therefore, operate together within the same hospital environment.

As well as the core imaging information (pixel data which may be encoded in different ways), DICOM files usually include a large amount of additional data relevant to the study and patient.

Physics and imaging technology: x-ray
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rID: 53398
Section: Radiography
Tag: stub
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