Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine

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(Redirected from DICOM)

Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) is a comprehensive set of standards for handling, storing and transmitting information in medical imaging. It includes a file format definition and a network communication protocol.

DICOM was developed to enable integration of scanners, servers, workstations and network hardware from multiple vendors into a picture archiving and communication system. DICOM has been widely adopted by hospitals and is making inroads in smaller applications like dentist's and doctor's offices.

DICOM File Format

DICOM files consist of a header with standardized as well as free-form fields and a body of image data. A single DICOM file can contain one or more images, allowing storage of volumes and/or animations. Image data can be compressed using a variety of standards, including JPEG, LZW and Run-length encoding (RLE).

DICOM differs from other data formats in that it groups information together into a data set. That is, an X-Ray of your chest is in the same file as your patient ID, so that the image is never mistakenly separated from your information.

Details of the DICOM specification are available at the NEMA site, and many public domain and open source implementations exist.

External links

fr:DICOM

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