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Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM)

What is DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine)?

DICOM is the international standard for communicating and managing medical data and images. This includes transmitting, storing, retrieving, printing, processing, and displaying medical information.

DICOM is implemented in almost every cardiology imaging, radiology, and radiotherapy device. It has also seen increasing use in devices from other medical fields, including dentistry and ophthalmology.

DICOM helps increase interoperability in regard to the sharing of medical data and images. It also helps physicians manage related workflows.

How does DICOM improve healthcare?

DICOM ensures that all medical images are shared in a format that is easy to view and allows for the proper amount of clinical information to be obtained. This increases interoperability between different departments, improving the patient experience.

Additionally, the standardized format implemented with DICOM makes it possible to share data between different imaging devices without needing to interpret multiple image formats. This means that physicians can more easily access images and reports, easing the diagnosis process no matter where they are in the world. This then equates to more efficient care for patients.