NEMA Releases 2006 Revision of Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (Dicom) Standard

ROSSLYN, Va., July 5, 2006; NEMA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, has released a sixteen-part update of the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine standard.

The DICOM standard is a multi-part set of rules that establishes a single language for exchanging digital images and related information such as patient name, reason for the procedure, instrument used, and more. DICOM enables users to acquire, display, store, query, retrieve, move, or print medical images between instruments, computers, and hospitals. It facilitates interoperability of medical imaging equipment by specifying:
o A set of protocols for network communication to be followed by devices claiming conformance to the standard.
o The syntax and semantics of commands and associated information which can be exchanged using these protocols.
o A set of media storage services for media communication to be followed by devices claiming conformance to the standard, as well as a file format and a medical directory structure to facilitate access to the images and related information stored on an interchange media.
o Information that must be supplied when conformance to the standard is claimed in a given implementation.

DICOM is the result of over 20 years of collaboration between software engineers from all major imaging and computer companies, physicians (represented by major professional societies), plus government agencies and trade associations around the world.

DICOM is used by virtually all medical professionals who use digital imaging in their practices, including specialists in cardiology, dentistry, endoscopy, mammography, opthamology, orthopedics, pathology, pediatrics, radiation therapy, radiology, surgery, and even veterinary medicine.

"The 2006 DICOM standard introduced many new features that are relevant to users," says Peter Mildenberger, professor of radiology at Germany's University Hospital Mainz and DICOM user cochair. "For example, dose reporting for radiation exposure will improve the documentation and quality of procedures. The CT/MR cardiovascular analysis report will improve the workflow in computer-based evaluation, as well as communication of the results. New compression algorithms will help speed up PACS solutions and teleradiology. As DICOM becomes the imaging standard in medicine, more and more clinical disciplines, hospitals, and government institutions are committed to this standard."

The DICOM standard includes the following parts:
PS 3.1: DICOM Part 1, Introduction and Overview ($56)
PS 3.2: DICOM Part 2, Conformance ($177)
PS 3.3: DICOM Part 3, Information Object Definitions ($288)
PS 3.4: DICOM Part 4, Service Class Specifications ($176)
PS 3.5: DICOM Part 5, Data Structures and Encoding ($107)
PS 3.6: DICOM Part 6, Data Dictionary ($100)
PS 3.7: DICOM Part 7, Message Exchange ($121)
PS 3.8: DICOM Part 8, Network Communication Support for Message Exchange ($75)
PS 3.10: DICOM Part 10, Media Storage and File Format for Media Interchange ($61)
PS 3.11: DICOM Part 11, Media Storage Application Profiles ($82)
PS 3.12: DICOM Part 12, Media Formats and Physical Media for Media Interchange ($75)
PS 3.14: DICOM Part 14, Grayscale Standard Display Function ($75)
PS 3.15: DICOM Part 15, Security and System Management Profiles ($88)
PS 3.16: DICOM Part 16, Content Mapping Resource ($248)
PS 3.17: DICOM Part 17, Explanatory Information ($176)
PS 3.18: DICOM Part 18, Web Access to DICOM Persistent Objects (WADO) ($56)

Documents may be purchased separately, or the entire set may be purchased for $999 by visiting, or by contacting Global Engineering Documents at (800) 854-7179 (within the U.S.), (303) 397-7956 (international), (303) 397-2740 (fax), or on the internet at

NEMA is the trade association of choice for the electrical manufacturing industry. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its 430 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and use of electricity. These products are used in utility, medical, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. Domestic production of electrical products sold worldwide exceeds $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing, Sao Paulo, and Mexico City.


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