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DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) is a standard for handling, storing, printing, and transmitting information in medical imaging.[1] It includes a file format definition and a network communications protocol. The communication protocol is an application protocol that uses TCP/IP to communicate between systems. DICOM files can be exchanged between two entities that are capable of receiving image and patient data in DICOM format. DICOM enables the integration of scanners, servers, workstations, printers, and network hardware from multiple manufacturers into a picture archiving and communication system (PACS).[2] The different devices come with DICOM conformance statements which clearly state which DICOM classes they support. DICOM has been widely adopted by hospitals[1] and is making inroads in smaller applications like dentists'[3] and doctors' offices.

DICOM is known as NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) standard PS3[2] and as ISO standard 12052.[4] NEMA holds the copyright to this standard.[1]

Further reading


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "DICOM - Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine" (PDF). National Electrical Manufacturers Association. http://medical.nema.org/dicom/geninfo/Brochure.pdf. Retrieved 06 October 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "PS 3.1-2011 - Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM)" (PDF). National Electrical Manufacturers Association. 2011. ftp://medical.nema.org/medical/dicom/2011/09v11dif/09v11_01.pdf. Retrieved 06 October 2012. 
  3. Farman, Allan G. (2005). "Applying DICOM to dentistry". Journal of Digital Imaging 18 (1): 23–27. PMID 15551104. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15551104. 
  4. "DICOM: About DICOM". National Electrical Manufacturers Association. http://medical.nema.org/Dicom/about-DICOM.html. Retrieved 06 October 2012.